Ali Hasanov: Mehman Aliyev appealed to president
In August 2017, a measure of restraint was chosen in respect of the director of Turan News Agency, Mehman Aliyev, charged under several articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ali Hasanov, Azerbaijani president’s aide for public and political affairs, told AZERTAC.
“At the time, Azerbaijan’s Press Council appealed to the country’s President Ilham Aliyev for the issue to be solved within law. In addition, Mehman Aliyev also appealed to the head of state for the measure of restraint in respect of him to be commuted to house arrest,” said Hasanov.
The presidential aide said that in 2009, President Ilham Aliyev emphasized the inappropriateness of arresting media workers for their professional activities, in consideration of democratic principles and the freedoms of speech and information being supreme in Azerbaijan.
“Upon the head of state’s instructions, no media worker has been arrested for their professional activities since 2009,” he added.
He recalled that on February 10, 2017, President Ilham Aliyev signed an order on improving work in the penitentiary system, humanizing the punishment policy and expanding alternative punishments and procedural enforcement measures not associated with isolation from society.
This order makes it possible to implement alternative types of punishment not related to isolation from society with respect to persons brought to criminal responsibility in such and a number of other cases, said Hasanov.
“Given all this, President Ilham Aliyev instructed law enforcement agencies to consider the appeal of Turan News Agency director Mehman Aliyev,” he added.
Hasanov stressed that this decision is a manifestation of the Azerbaijani president’s unchanged position and will to ensure democratic principles, freedom of speech and information, independence of the media and free activity of journalists in the country.
Asked about a possible extradition to Israel of blogger Alexander Lapshin, who was sentenced to three years in prison in Azerbaijan, the presidential aide replied: “In accordance with the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the issue related to the release and extradition of Lapshin was always on the agenda. The adoption of a relevant decision was delayed just because an appeal was sent too late from the Israeli government. The appeal was received by the Azerbaijani government, and a decision was made against Lapshin.
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