Azeri Court Frees Dissident Journalist Khadija Ismayilova

BAKU – Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court freed investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova on Wednesday, after reducing her original seven years and half year sentence to three and half years.

According to the court’s decision, Ismayilova is not allowed to occupy a top position in any state and government body for two years.

"Greetings everyone! I am out of prison! Thank you all for your support! I am strong and full of energy and I will continue my work as a journalist. Thank you," Ismayilova said after she was released from prison. 

Ismayilova, a journalist of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty, was detained two years ago and sentenced in September 2015 to a lengthy prison term for tax evasion and embezzlement.

"This is a great day for Khadija…for all journalists and for free speech everywhere," RFE/RL Editor-in-Chief Nenad Pejic said.

The international community largely rallied to Ismayilova’s cause after she was arrested on what were considered trumped-up charges. He arrest came as she was highly criticized by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev for her award-winning investigative reporting that linked the Aliyev family to widespread corruption in the country.

By Tamar Svanidze
Edited by Nicholas Waller

Photo: Meydan TV

25 May 2016 19:30