AbzasMedia journalists in detention allowed to contact family members

Foto: “Abzasmedia”

The ban on telephone conversations and meetings with family members of journalists arrested in the criminal case related to “AbzasMedia” has been lifted. Shahla Humbatova, the Nargiz Absalamova’s lawyer, said that the investigator investigating the “AbzasMedia” case informed him about the phone conversation and the cancellation of the meeting ban.

The ban lasted for three months, against which the detained journalists filed a complaint to the court regarding the restriction of meeting and telephone conversation rights.

According to Shahla Humbatova, both the first court procedure and the following appeal did not lead to the ban being removed. While Humbatova says that the ban may now be lifted, her client’s rights were still violated, and if local courts do not uphold the complaint, they will take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

The imprisoned journalists have already contacted their family members. The mother of “AbzasMedia” editor-in-chief Sevinj Vagifgizi (Abbasova) Ofeliya Maharramova told Meydan TV that her daughter contacted her on 19 February. Her lawyer Fariz Namazli also met with her yesterday.

Ofeliya Maharramova added that she will meet with her daughter in the pretrial detention center this week.

Ofeliya Maharramova, Sevinj Vagifgizi’s mother. Photo: Meydan TV

Another journalist, Elnara Gasimova, contacted her relatives on 19 February.

Arrests in the “AbzasMedia” case, known for its corruption investigations, began on November 20. First, the site’s director Ulvi Hasanli, deputy director Mahammad Kekalov, and editor-in-chief Sevinj Vagifqizi were arrested. Later, arrests continued with investigative journalist Hafiz Babali, Nargiz Absalamova and Elnara Gasimova. They are also charged with Article 206.3.2 (smuggling by a group of persons) of the Criminal Code.

The sanction of this article provides for imprisonment from 5 to 8 years.

After Ulvi Hasanli was detained on November 20, the office of “AbzasMedia” was searched. It was claimed that 40,000 euros were found in the site’s office.

Ulvi Hasanli said that there was no money there, that 40,000 euros were deposited in the office by those who claimed to have found it.

All of the named journalists plead not guilty, saying that they are being targeted for investigations they published related to business and corruption about a number of officials, including members of the President’s family.

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