Journalists were prevented from covering the trial of former captain of the Qalaba Football Club Javid Huseynov in connection with the murder of journalist Rasim Aliyev, Meydan TV reported from the courtroom in Baku on January 27.
Initially journalists were allowed in the courtroom, but later judge Elmar Rahimov decided to switch the rooms and didn’t allow the reporters to be present. However, pro-government website haqqin.az claims that they were allowed in the courtroom.
Huseynov’s lawyer Adam Mammadov told the journalists after the hearing that he and his client weren’t interested in keeping the trial closed for the media. Mammadov said that this was judge Rahimov’s decision, and promised that he would try to ensure that media representatives were allowed at the trial.
At the trial Mammadov asked that Huseynov be released on bail, but the judge has denied this request. Mammadov later told journalists that he was going to petition this decision.
Huseynov’s next hearing is scheduled for February 10.
Huseynov is being tried on allegations of his involvement in the murder of journalist Rasim Aliyev in the summer of 2015. Huseynov is denying his association with the murder.
According to Freedom House, while there is no direct proof of Azerbaijani government’s involvement in the Rasim Aliyev murder, Azerbaijani authorities have contributed to creating an overall atmosphere of impunity in actions against media professionals in the country.