The journalist herself and her supporters call the accusations fabricated and politically motivated
The prosecutor’s office in Baku demanded that Khadija Ismayilova, winner of international awards in investigative journalism, be sentenced to nine years in prison on charges that the defendant herself and her supporters called fabricated and politically motivated..
The demand of the state prosecution sounded on Friday in the closing speech at the trial against Khadija Ismailova, accused of embezzlement, tax evasion and abuse of office.
An employee of the Azerbaijan Service of Radio Liberty – Radio Azatlig, Ismailova wrote a lot about corruption in the highest echelons of power in Azerbaijan.
The journalist of the Azerbaijan service “Voice of America” in Baku quoted on Friday the words of Ismayilova’s mother Elmira, who stated that all the testimony against her daughter was “obtained under pressure from the prosecutor’s office.”.
“My daughter has never done anything illegal,” said Elmira Ismailova. “She always spoke the truth, she is a good person.”.
Khadija Ismailova was arrested in December 2014 on charges of provoking a colleague, Tural Mustafayev, into a suicide attempt. However, Mustafayev later dropped the charges, saying that the Azerbaijani special services blackmailed him into testifying against Ismailova. The American Committee to Protect Journalists called for the immediate release of Ismailova and other imprisoned journalists in Azerbaijan..
Last week, an Azerbaijani court sentenced human rights defender Leyla Yunus to eight and a half years and her husband Arifa to seven years in prison on charges of a bogus economic crime..
On Thursday, a group of UN human rights experts condemned the verdict of the Yunus couple, calling it “a manifestation of political motivation and ongoing repression of an independent civil society in Azerbaijan.”.
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