Khadija Ismayilova. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the Caucasian Knot

16 January 2020, 10:59

British rights defenders urge Azerbaijan to lift ban on Ismayilova’s travels abroad

Azerbaijani authorities must lift the ban on foreign travels of investigative journalist, Khadija Ismayilova, who has been awarded several international rewards. Three British human rights organizations made such an appeal on January 15.

Khadija Ismayilova is known for her investigating corruption in Azerbaijan. In September 2015, she was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison on charges of economic crimes. In May 2016, the Supreme Court replaced the term for 3.5 years of conditional imprisonment.

Ismayilova’s advocates will ask for a permit for Khadija Ismayilova to travel to the UK to testify at trial against the Romanian journalist, Paul Radu, who is a co-founder and executive director of the OCCRP (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project) investigation group, says the statement issued on January 15 by the organizations “Censorship Index”, “Transparency International UK” and the “Reporters Without Borders UK” and posted on their websites.

Khadija Ismayilova, a leading OCCRP reporter in Azerbaijan, is a key witness in this case. "Azerbaijan unreasonably and unjustly prevents Khadija Ismayilova from travelling abroad, aiming to punish her and stop the spread of her reports," the authors of the statement cite the words of Jodi Ginsberg, the executive director of the “Censorship Index”.

“This ban should be lifted immediately; Khadija should be allowed to leave in order to testify in the above resonant case against another investigative journalist,” the authors of the statement quote Rebecca Vincent, director of the British bureau of the “Reporters without Borders”.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 16, 2020 at 06:20 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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