Avaz Zeynalli, the editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper Khural, was detained and taken to the police in Baku on the evening of 19 December.
His wife, Malahat Gisuri, said that he had been filming on Binagadi road when a police officer started to insult him. Following an argument, Zeynalli was taken into custody to the Binagadi district police department.
On Facebook, defense lawyer Elchin Sadigov
“We do not have any information about the reasons for the detention of Avaz Zeynalli yet. Proceedings relating to administrative violations under Article 535.1 of the Administrative Offense Code (disobeying the lawful demands of the police) have been initiated against him.”
Zeynalli’s trial took place on 20 December. He was released from custody after the Binagadi district court
sentenced him to pay a fine
of 200 manat (100 euro). The journalist criticized the prosecution against him as far-fetched, and said that he would appeal the court’s decision.
Avaz Zeynalli was born in 1969. He is a graduate of Ankara State University and in 2002 founded the newspaper Khural.
He was previously
on 28 October 2011, following a complaint filed by former MP Gular Ahmadova. The anti-corruption department launched a criminal case against him under Articles 311.3.3 (receiving a large bribe) and 311.3.4 (receiving a bribe using threats) of the Criminal Code. Later, further charges were filed against him under Articles 306 (non-execution of a verdict or ruling passed by a court) and 213.1 (tax evasion).
He was sentenced to nine years in prison and
in December 2014.