The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on June 30 announced its decision in the case “Ganimat Zahid v. Azerbaijan. Lawyer Khalid Aghaliyev informed about it.
Note that the ECHR found in this case a violation of freedom of expression of the editor of the “Azadliq” newspaper and ruled to pay him a compensation of 1,500 euros.
The complaint dealt with the punishment of the newspaper and its editor for publishing an article: “The Apparatus of Corruption of the Presidential Assistant.”
The material alleged that former presidential aide Tariel Agayev and his relatives had purchased various property, including a soccer club, land plots, a restaurant and commercial facilities, at the expense of corrupt money.
Tariel Agayev then sued the newspaper. The court granted the suit and ruled that the newspaper must pay the plaintiff 40,000 manats in compensation and its editor 25,000 manats. The higher courts upheld this decision.
The ECHR found that the decisions of local courts were an interference with freedom of expression, and were unreasonable and disproportionate.
* The opposition newspaper “Azadlyg” ceased its publication in 2016 due to financial problems. After that, a part of the staff emigrated from the country because of persecution by the authorities. Another part of the editorial board continues to publish an Internet site under the same name. In 2017, however, the authorities blocked access to the site in Azerbaijan.