Khadija Ismayil’s investigations causing her arrest


Caricature of VOA: Khadija Ismayil cleaning off corrupt, willful officials and adulating people in Azerbaijan

Journalist Khadija Ismayilova, a Radio Free Europe/OCCRP reporter, was taken into custody in Baku, Azerbaijan on 5 December, in the latest of a series of legal moves to put pressure on her.

Ismayilova, known for her investigations into the business interests of the family of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, is charged in the latest case of inciting a man to commit suicide.

In 2012, Khadija Ismayil blackmailed with her bedroom scenes. She says that, “These repressions are price we pay for the work we do.”

These are Khadija Ismayil’s investigations causing her arrest:

Azerbaijani president’s Daughters Tied to Fast-Rising Telecom Firm 

Azerbaijan’s President Awarded Family Stake in Gold Fields

President’s Family Benefits From Eurovision Hall

Ismayilova has also been charged in a separate case centering on a document that she posted on social media that indicated Azerbaijani secret services used an explicit, illegally filmed sex tape to blackmail an opposition activist into informing on other opposition figures.

On December 4, Azerbaijan’s Presidential Chief of Staff Ramiz Mehdiyev publicly accused Ismayilova of treason and called RFE/RL’s employees in the country spies.

Ismayilova sees the legal pressure as part of a broader crackdown against civil society by Azerbaijan’s government.

She is known for her extensive reporting on the business interests of President Ilham Aliyev’s family.

In October, Azerbaijani authorities prevented Ismayilova from traveling to Prague, where she had been due to attend an international conference.


Who is next in Azerbaijan?

It’s not excluded that crackdown against civil society will continue in Azerbaijan with new arrests. The question is “Who is next?”. Two critical trials this week:

092900091832Alayif Hasanov – a lawyer of Leyla Yunus and other political prisoners. His trial will be held on 8 October. He may be arrested.

Yasamal District Court of Baku considered a lawsuit by Nuriya Huseynova – cellmate of Leyla Yunus, filed against lawyer Alaif Hasanov on 29 September. Hasanov himself was absent in the court. Hasanov unveiled facts of physical pressure by Huseynova on Yunus in the jail cell, where they are present together. One of his statements was published in the newspaper “Azadlig” September 17, 2014. Thereafter, Huseynov said that the lawyer called her “a criminal”, calling it an insult. Hasanov said that Huseynova was previously judged, and her current term in prison has not expired.  The lawyer believes that the authorities use Huseynova, to remove him from the protection of Yunus.  The lawyer pointed out that a copy of the article in “Azadlig” newspaper was attached to the suit. “It turns out that Huseynova is a regular reader of “Azadlig”, and gets it even in jail, while lawyers bags are carefully checked , so that to prevent getting  the newspaper “Azadlig” to jail.

“I’m not guilty, but my detainment is real.”

10665830_10203652814979384_7153706528451201757_nKhadija Ismayilova – an investigative journalist. Her trial will be held on 9 October. She may be arrested.

Khadija Ismayilova, who is known for her extensive reporting on the business interests of the family of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and who hosts a daily program for RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service, said a criminal libel case has been opened against her and she has been ordered to appear in court on October 3.

“I have been warned that, upon returning from my trip, I will be facing arrest and maybe this is another way to warn me,” she told RFE/RL in a telephone interview. “I believe they want me either not to go back to Azerbaijan or to be scared and not be loud about things in Azerbaijan. They have to understand that this is not the way to deal with me.”

(Will be updated)