Freelance journalist Mushfig Huseynov released from prison

Sunday, 31 January 2010 Written by Rory Peck Trust

The Trust is delighted to learn that the 38 year old  has been released from prison after two and a half years behind bars.

Mushfig - a high profile investigative journalist in Azerbaijan - was pardoned by presidential decree on December 25th and released the following day.  He was arrested in 2007 after writing a series of articles for the Bizim Yol newspaper exposing government corruption, and sentenced to five years in prison.

Mushfig is suffering from late stage tuberculosis – a common disease in Azerbaijan’s poorly maintained and overcrowded prisons – and his condition has deteriorated rapidly during  the last few months. He is now receiving treatment in a hospital near to his family home in Baku and we wish him all the very best for a full recovery.

Mushfig’s story highlights the desperate situation faced by many families of imprisoned freelancers who, with the main breadwinner gone, often struggle to make ends meet and suffer from social isolation, all the while knowing little about the safety and security of their loved one. Without the official back up of an organisation information, support and financial help can be difficult to come by.

Mushfig’s wife Arzu was unable to support herself and her family during her husband’s detention.  She also suffered from TB and their eldest son, Masud, has been seriously ill.  Support from the Trust helped Arzu with the family’s day to day living costs and covered much needed medical treatment for herself and her son.  It also enabled the family to make regular prison visits to Mushfig during his detention.

We will continue to keep in touch with Arzu, Mushfig and their family over the coming months and years.

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