Leading journalist reporting on Azerbaijan corruption in government in prison after Aliyev story | Democracy, elections and voting at Democracy Chronicles
From the Freedom House press release, “Azerbaijan: Harsh Sentence against Ismayilova Restricts Press Freedom”:
In response to a court in Baku, Azerbaijan, sentencing journalist Khadija Ismayilova to 7.5 years imprisonment in retaliation for her reporting on pervasive government corruption, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Ismayilova’s being sentenced to prison after her conviction on preposterous charges shows the government’s intolerance of press freedom, especially when reporters focus on government wrong-doing,” said Mark P. Lagon, president of Freedom House. “President Aliyev seems determined to silence critics of a corrupt government. The United States and the European Union should not regard Aliyev as an ally unless his government begins to respect the fundamental rights of its citizens.”
Ismayilova is a reporter for Azadliq Radio (the Azerbaijani branch of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. She gained notice for investigating allegations of corruption by President Aliyev’s family. She was convicted on charges including tax evasion and embezzlement.
Another journalist, Rasim Aliyev, died August 9 after being beaten by unknown assailants. Aliyev was a member of the monitoring group Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety, which the government forced to close in 2014.
Azerbaijan has sentenced Khadija Ismayilova, an award-winning investigative journalist and anti-corruption campaigner, to seven-and-a-half years in jail over several fraud charges which she denounced as politically motivated. The court in Baku on Tuesday sentenced Ismayilova to prison for a string of convictions, including, embezzlement, tax evasion, illegal business activity, and abuse of power, but found her…