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Eynulla Fatullayev (file photo)
Jailed Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev is ignoring calls for him to end the hunger strike he began last week, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Azerbaijani journalists and human rights activists have appealed to Fatullayev to "conserve his health for the fight against dictatorship."

Fatullayev's father, Emin Fatullayev, visited him on October 26. Emin Fatullayev told RFE/RL his son did not intend to end the protest.

He also said Eynulla "has no health problems, doctors measure his blood pressure and monitor his condition."

Fatullayev, editor of the independent newspaper "Realny Azerbaijan," was sentenced in 2007 to 11 years in prison on charges including tax evasion and fomenting interethnic hatred.

Rights organizations believe the charges against him were fabricated.

Fatullayev began the hunger strike to demand the Azerbaijani authorities comply with an April 22 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg that he be released immediately and paid 25,000 euros ($34,467) in compensation.

An Azerbaijani Supreme Court spokesman told local media this week the court might convene an ad hoc session to discuss the ECHR ruling.

Fatullayev was sentenced in July to an additional 2 1/2 years in prison after a trace amount of drugs were allegedly found in his prison cell. Fatullayev said the drugs were planted.
Saeed Malekpour
The wife of jailed Iranian web designer Saeed Malekpour has written to Iran's judiciary chief denying the charges against him, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Malekpour, 35, is a metallurgical-engineering graduate of Tehran's Sharif Industrial University who started to work as a web designer in Canada in 2005.

Malekpour was taken into custody upon his return to Iran in 2008.

Zohreh Eftekhari told Radio Farda on October 25 that her husband has been charged with "spreading propaganda against the regime," "insulting Iran's supreme leader and president," "contact with foreigners and opposition groups," "blasphemy," and "managing obscene websites."

"In general, my husband is accused of being a corruptor on earth," Eftekhari said. Under Iranian law, the charge "spreading corruption on earth" is punishable by death.

Eftekhari said that her husband was not the manager of any website. He was just a simple web designer whose customers were usually travel agencies or pharmacies.

She added that the charges brought against Malekpour were based on confessions extracted under duress, and signs of torture are still visible on his body after two years.

"When I visited Saeed in Evin prison three months after his arrest, he told me that he had made confessions of which he was ashamed to talk to me," Eftekhari said.

Malekpour also told his wife that his confessions were extensively filmed to be shown on television at some future date.

The same charge of "managing obscene websites" was brought against Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhsan, but no one believed it because he was a well-known journalist, Eftekhari noted.

"But since my husband is an ordinary, unknown citizen, the authorities can easily label him with such false allegations," she said.

Eftekhari added that all she wants from the judiciary is a fair trial at which her husband can defend himself.

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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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