(8.12.2014) The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)
today has called on the Azerbaijan authorities to immediately release the
prominent investigative journalist, Khadija Ismayilova, following the
order of a two-month preventative detention.
According to media reporting, Ismayilova has been sent to prison for two
months following a trial in an Azerbaijani court in Baku on 5 December in
which she was accused of provoking the attempted suicide of Tural
Ismayilova was arrested following the accusation of Mustafayev, a former
contributer to Radio
Azadlyg and another opposition media platform, Meydan TV, that
she was the cause of his attempted suicide. Before Ismayilova’s arrest,
15 police officers went to her house and conducted searches.
“This is an absurd
charge against Ismayilova by the authorities to silence critical voices
in Azerbaijan,” said Ricardo Gutierrez, the EFJ General Secretary.
“It is clearly an
another attempt by the government to intimidate journalists like Ismayilova
who dare to report the truth and spoke out against the authorities in the
Ismayilova, an Azerbaijan investigative journalist who has published a
series of exposes on government corruption, has also been charged with
libel in a separate case. In October, the EFJ together with the International Partnership
Group on Azerbaijan has condemned the ongoing harassment
and politically motivated criminal charges against her.
Ismayilova was searched for five hours upon arrival at the airport and
given a travel ban following her trip to the Parliamentary Assembly of
the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg.
The EFJ has repeatedly raised the alarming situation of media freedom in
Azerbaijan where journalists face judicial harassment. To highlight this
worrying trend, the EFJ Annual Meeting on 21 – 22 November in Moscow has adopted a resolution on solidarity with imprisoned
journalists and against judicial harassment.