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Court: Award-winning Azerbaijani journalist’s rights were breached

Judges declared today that Azerbaijan violated the human rights of award-winning journalist Seymur Mashgul oglu Haziyev.

As just satisfaction, (Article 41), the court held that Azerbaijan was to pay the applicant Haziyev 13,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 1,500 in respect of costs and expenses.

Haziyev used to write for the newspaper Azadliq and was the presenter of a TV show, “Azerbaijani Hour”,which was critical of the government, winning an international award in 2016 for his work.

The case of Haziyev v. Azerbaijan (application no. 19842/15) concerned Haziyev’s detention following an altercation in the street.

He was arrested in August 2014 and held in detention pending trial until his conviction for hooliganism in January 2015.

In today’s Chamber judgment1 in the case the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) of the European Convention on Human Rights because Mr Haziyev’s detention from 29 October to 11 November 2014 had not been based on a court order, and

a violation of Article 5 § 3 (entitlement to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial)

of the European Convention because the authorities had failed to justify the need for Mr Haziyev’s re-trial detention. They had simply used a standard template when ordering the measure without addressing the specific facts of his case and had failed to give any reasons at all when extending his detention.

The court pointed out in particular that it had already examined and found violations of the convention in numerous cases against Azerbaijan concerning the practice of holding applicants in custody solely because an indictment had been filed with a trial court.

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