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On August 1st, Nasimi district court examined the request of freelance journalist, Natiq Javadli, to have his travel ban lifted. His request was denied.
Caucasian Knot reported that on the 7th of February, journalists Natiq Javadli and Aytaj Ahmedova were interrogated at the investigative department on grave crimes of the Attorney General of Azerbaijan.
According to the journalists, they were interrogated because of their connection to internet news resource, Meydan TV.
Javadli has been unable to leave the country for more than a year. His complaint was examined by judge Elman Isayev.
“Last summer, they didn’t let me leave Azerbaijan for Georgia. Then they summoned me several times to the General Attorney’s office and asked me about my activities for Meydan TV. But no official decisions were made about the limitations on my movement. And it was only in spring of this year that I found out that I am included in the so called criminal case against employees of Meydan TV, despite the fact that I have never been a staff member there. And if there were no accusations against me, then why was I not allowed to leave the country?” Natiq Javadli told a Caucasian Knot correspondent.
According to Javadli, he will appeal the decision. Moreover, because the investigative department on serious crimes of the Attorney General is a government institution, he intends to lodge a complaint against the structure itself in administrative – economic court.
Javadli’s lawyer, Elchin Sadiqov, told a Caucasian Knot correspondent that the travel ban against Javadli is unfounded. “Natiq Javadli is not a suspect, and has not been accused of anything. And for that reason the travel ban is groundless. If he were a very important witness, then perhaps his freedom of movement could be limited in order to ensure his participation in trial or during an investigation. But to permanently limit his freedom of movement is against his constitutional rights. Moreover, Javadli does not have either tax dues or credit debt. We will direct a complaint to the appeals court in order to have the travel ban lifted. This case may end up in the European Court on Human Rights, if the Azerbaijani court does not lift the travel ban”, said Sadiqov.
Nasimi district court confirmed to a correspondent of Caucasian Knot that Javadli’s complaint was dismissed. “We do not comment on court decisions”, said a representative of the court.
In 2009, Javadli was awarded the international journalism, Gerd Bucerius Prize.