Mustafa Hajibeyli, a popular journalist and editor-in-chief of the Musavat-affiliated, blocked website bastainfo.com, was sentenced to five years and six months in jail, on a probation period of two years.
On 21 February, the Baku Court of Grave Crimes found Hajibeyli guilty of abuse of office, fraud, and anti-state activities. According to the statement, the journalist "used his official role to repeatedly publish open calls for change of power on his website."
Taking into consideration Hajibeyli’s situation as a Karabakh veteran and caretaker of two minors, the Court sentenced him to two years on probation, considering his sentence as fully served if the journalist does not commit any offence during this time.
Hajibeyli said the criminal case against him was unfounded and that he will
his journalistic activities.
In July 2018, the Prosecutor General’s Office had launched criminal investigations against four news websites, including bastainfo.com, which was accused of ‘knowingly spreading false information’. The decision came after independent media questioned the investigation into the
authorities were trying to prevent information from reaching the public.