Vusala Hasratli

The criminal case has started against Ganun on 20th February. The publishing house was fined 150,000 AZN.

Head of Publishing House Shahbaz Khuduoglu says, “20 persons came to office and only two of them were in uniform. And they took our computers and documents despite of our disagreement.

Muzaffar Bakhishov, the lawyer of “Ganun”, says that if the taxpayer refuses to provide tax authorities with documents, in that case tax authority has to apply to court for getting in order to get court decision about taking documents.

According to Bakhishov, they informed tax audit group about this issue, but they said they are assigned with taking all documents.

Ganun applied to the court and seven hearing process were already held. In all cases court has decided not to provide Ganun’s claims.

The bank account of publishing house is seized, they can’t pay salaries and honoraria for foreign writers’, can’t continue co-operation with the foreign publishing houses.

Ganun publishes mainstream literature. They are publishing Nobel Prize winner writers’ in Azerbaijan language as well.

Shahbaz Khuduoglu talks about possible reasons of pressure. He says that Ganun increased selling of Azerbaijan language books in country.

The head of Publishing House thinks the government reacts to “Stop VAT” campaign. It has been already 3 years since Ganun organizes campaign against tax reform.

“Another reason could be publishing of Jamil Hasanli’s posters who was candidate in Azerbaijan Presidential Elections in 2013”, says Khuduoglu.

But head of publishing house notices that many people began to support Ganun. Editors, translators started to work voluntarily for Ganun. After the hearing “Dalga” Youth Movement organized flash-mob in support of Ganun.  Young people are volunteering for book selling campaigns.

EtibarSalmanli is one of volunteers. He edits a book for Ganun. “Ganun is the dearest organization for me. Lots of foreign books, stories have been translated and published in Azerbaijan, which I wanted to read. When I saw how the government pressured Ganun, I decided to support my publishing house. This is the time that book industry just started growing,” he says.

Another volunteer is journalist ElnaraKarimova. She is a philologist. As Karimova says books aren’t alien to her. “If there are no books, there is no growth in the country.  Thanks to Ganun many people loved books. The destruction of Ganun is the destruction of the book industry. We cannot allow this.”

Regarding to Ganun journal editorial office and Ganun Publishing House Ministry of Taxes responded to inquiry of Media Forum website. The Department of Tax Audit of Ministry of Taxes claims it inspected taxes or two years period in November 2013. The purpose of inspection was to investigate the status of compliance of requirements tax legislation.

Ganun Publishing House is accused in tax evasion. Taking into account the crime signs shown in the 213.1 and 213.2.2 Criminal Code in the collected materials, investigation have started in two cases on February 20, 2014.