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AEJ condemns unjust verdict against Khadiya Ismayilova in ‘fabricated’ case

The AEJ, Article 19, the European Federation of Journalists, International Federation of Journalists and Reporters Without Borders have together denounced the verdict and prison sentence against Khadiya Ismayilova as based on fabricated evidence and legally unsound. We call for the verdict to be reversed, for the case against Ismayilova to be dismissed, and for her immediate and unconditional release.

On 1 September 2015, a Baku court sentenced Khadija Ismayilova to 7 and a half years in prison on charges of misappropriation and embezzlement, illegal business dealings, tax evasion and abuse of power. In her closing statement, Ms Ismayilova denounced the case against her as politically motivated with the aim of ending her investigations into corruption at the highest levels of government.

Leading European authorities including the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights and the OSCE’s Representative on Media Freedom have condemned the verdict as unjust. The Council of Europe’s Secretary-General, Thorbjorn Jagland, has criticised ‘systemic deficiencies’ in the Azerbaijan judicial system and the growing number of prosecution s of human rights defenders and journalists.

 

Read more details on the Council of Europe’s Platform for the protection of journalism and safety of journalists.

about the Alerts on the Ismayilova case, the official response of the Azerbaijan government, and the latest international protests against the Baku court’s verdict.

 

The Platform (website) was launched in April 2015 and has so far recorded 75 Alerts about physical attacks and harassment against journalists, judicial impunity, threats to journalistic sources, and acts having a chilling effect on media freedom. Alerts delivered to the Platform by AEJ, Article 19, EFJ, IFJ and Reporters Without Borders are communicated to the Council of Europe member state concerned, and responses by the member states can also be viewed online.

The Platform is designed to enable the Council of Europe to The platform will enable the Council of Europe to highlight serious concerns about media freedom and journalists’ rights, react more effectively to these threats and to strengthen the dialogue with member states about remedies and protective measures.