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Finding Elmar's Killers


Eynulla Fatullayev in court in Baku in 2007

Eynulla Fatullayev in court in Baku in 2007

BAKU -- Emin Fatullayev is nervous. His son, newspaper editor Eynulla Fatullayev, has been in prison for a year, and Emin is convinced the family’s ramshackle, one-story brick house on the outskirts of this city is bugged.

He leads a visitor to the backyard where, he says, it may be safer to talk. When asked why authorities went to such extremes to prosecute his son, piling up criminal charges from defamation to terrorism and imposing a prison term of eight and half years, Emin lights a cigarette and says it is rooted in a news story -- Eynulla’s investigation into the 2005 murder of his boss and mentor, the editor Elmar Huseynov.

"Eynulla found Elmar’s killers," he whispers, describing his son’s reporting trip to Georgia just months before he was arrested.

So begins a special report by Nina Ognianova of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The story of Eynulla Fatullayev and his search for the killers of Elmar Huseynov makes for gripping reading, and listening (there's a nicely done audio slideshow).

Azerbaijan has become the leading jailer of journalists in Europe. In addition to the Fatullayev case, the CPJ story reveals the full scope of abuses that continue in Azerbaijan.

(by "Watchdog" Editor Grant Podelco)

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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