Eynulla Fatullayev Released…Sort Of…
This piece of news hit me pretty hard today. It’s rather unbelievable, actually. The Supreme Court of Azerbaijan has decided that Azerbaijan will honor the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling that Eynulla Fatullayev could not be held for creating enmity anymore. The ECHR’s decision came out in April. And it was a big deal. Now, with this push to fall in line with the ECHR ruling, Eynulla should be up and out of prison. And if that were to happen, I’m sure Azerbaijan’s Human Rights Report results would be a bit better.
Interestingly, Azerbaijan still found a way to keep him in prison:
Today, after the deliberations, the Supreme Court held to implement the judgment of the ECHR on dismissing the prior charges against Eynulla Fatullayev, but keeping the journalist in jail on drug possession charges because the ECHR verdict did not address that issue.
Addressing the issue that Eynulla Fatullayev had already served two years three months and 15 days in prison, the Supreme Court simply did the following: It retroactively increased the sentencing for Eynulla Fatullayev on tax evasion charges (from 2 months to 2 years 3 months and 15 days) and then declared that the time already served by Fatullayev was deemed to have been spent on that charge. This trickery meant Eynulla Fatullayev would still have to serve two years and a half in jail for the drug possession charges.
By making adjustments to the prison sentences for offenses, Eynulla will be required to hang out in his prison home for another two and a half years. They decided that the time he already served went to a tax evasion charge and that the heroin time he still hasn’t served. And he’ll probably be in prison for a few more years.
So, yeah, Azerbaijan is following the ECHR’s decree. Looks great, huh?