17 June 2020, 23:59
In Azerbaijan, court sentences journalist Anar Mamedov to one year of correctional labour
Anar Mamedov, the editor-in-chief of the website "Criminal.az", has been sentenced to one year of corrective labour under a lawsuit on defamation filed by a businesswoman. The journalist treats the verdict as unfounded.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the lawsuit against Anar Mamedov was filed by Malakhat Gurbanova, an owner of the "Lombard N: 1" Company. The businesswoman accused Anar Mamedov of defamation after the journalist had posted the articles about a lawsuit on non-residential premises between Malakhat Gurbanova and the former Azerbaijani Minister of Labour.
"Malakhat Gurbanova claimed that she was not engaged in lombard activities. She accused me of protecting the interests of the former Minister," Anar Mamedov said.
According to the journalist, experts made a conclusion that "the word 'lombard' was not offensive." However, the experts suggest that "if Malakhat Gurbanova is not known in society under the nickname of 'Lombard Malakhat' and if she never introduced herself like that, then the website "Criminal.az" deliberately insulted her honour and dignity and damaged the businesswoman's reputation."
The defence considers the lawsuit ungrounded, since there is no evidence of defamation in the case materials. However, advocate Elchin Sadygov suggests it is important that the verdict is executed separately from another sentence served by Anar Mamedov and that the suspended sentence is not replaced by a real one.
Khalid Agaliev, a lawyer from the Media Rights Institute (MRI), believes that prosecution of journalists in the context of public discussions negatively affects the country's image.
Earlier, Anar Mamedov has been repeatedly subjected to pressure. In December 2019, the journalist was summoned to the police because of his publications about the law enforcement bodies.
Author: Faik Medjid Source: CK correspondent