Freelance journalist appeal rejected

Jamil Mammadli is a regional freelance reporter often covering stories and developments from Northern Azerbaijan. In March 2021, Mammadli was sentenced to 1 year and 6 months of correctional labor. The charges were leveled against the journalist based on a complaint from the head of the regional district executive authority, Ziyaddin Aliyev. Aliyev claimed, that the stories Mammadli wrote about the official, were of defamatory and insulting nature. 

On May 17, during the appellate hearing, the journalist’s lawyers asked to acquit Mammadli, arguing the charges were illegal, while the special prosecutor, demanded that the journalist be handed a harsher sentence and was imprisoned.  The court rejected both of the appeals according to reporting by Meydan TV. 

Mammadli’s lawyer, Nemat Karimli said he disagreed with the ruling. “It is inadmissible to criminalize a journalist for his articles and content. The journalist was accused of slander and insult, even though he committed no such crimes,” said Karimli. 

Karimli also said that the case is centered around a video exposing the executive authority head hiring some 200 workers, without informing them and appropriating their salaries. According to the lawyer, the court failed to question the workers during the trial. 

While the charges against Mammadli remain, his lawyer, Karimli said they will be appealing to the Constitutional Court. 

Last year in March, when Mammadli was accused for the first time, the journalist said, he has indeed published video investigations about the official on his YouTube channel and Facebook and that the prosecutor’s office should instead investigate the evidence exposed in the videos.  

Mammadli previously was a regional reporter for Radio Liberty.