JournalismPakistan.com March 31, 2012
NEW YORK - The Azerbaijani authorities should immediately allow two television journalists facing criminal charges access to their lawyer and family, and transfer them to a regular detention facility, Human Rights Watch and Article 19 has said.
The authorities arrested the journalists, who are from the town of Guba in northeast Azerbaijan, on March 13, 2012, and have kept them for over a week in a police holding cell, without access to a lawyer and without informing their families of the journalists’ whereabouts. The authorities have provided no explanation for the conditions or lack of access, which violate Azerbaijani and international law.
VugarGonagov and ZaurGuliyev work for Xayal TV, a regional station based in Guba. They were detained on March 13, remanded for two months in pretrial detention, and transferred to the Interior Ministry in Baku.
“There is nothing that can explain or justify why the police have denied these journalists access to their families for two weeks, are holding them in a police cell, and won’t let their lawyer meet with them,” said Jane Buchanan, acting deputy director for Europe and Central Asia. “Locking up journalists or anyone else under these conditions has no place in a country that claims to respect the rule of law.”
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