Independent journalist banned from leaving Azerbaijan

Picture portraying a ‘locked’ passport. Source: shutterstock/AntonWatman

Saadat Jahangir, an employee of the independent newspaper Azadlig, is banned from leaving the country.

She told Meydan TV that on May 1, 2020, her house was searched in connection with the case of Niyamaddin Ahmadov.

Jahangir reported that, on this day, she was interrogated as a witness at the Serious Crimes Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office for 6 hours and later found out that money and personal belongings have been taken from her house.

But, even though her money has been returned through legal procedures, the journalist did not know about the travel ban until recently, when she tried to travel abroad.

On January 19, Jahangir wrote a letter to the Prosecutor General’s Office asking for information on whether she was banned from leaving the country. The journalist thought there would be no bans, since the case is officially over. However, a letter from the head of the Investigation Department on March 17 made it clear that Jahangir was temporarily banned from crossing the state border. 

As a tentative to convert this situation, she sent a telegram to the Prosecutor General, stating that it is forbidden by law to halt a witness and asking them to lift the unfounded ban. Jahangir added that she is also has documents ready if she needs to appeal to the court.

Niyamaddin Ahmadov, an activist and bodyguard of the chairman of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), was charged with “financing of terrorism” in May 2020. He and the Party deny all allegations and claim the arrest is politically motivated.

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