Dec 10, 2014, 3:23 PM
News Code: 81421925
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Baku urged to free investigative journalist

Tehran, Dec 10, IRNA - The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has called on the Azerbaijani authorities to immediately release the investigative journalist, Khadija Ismayilova, following the order of a two-month preventative detention.

Quoting media reports, EFJ said Ismayilova has been sent to prison for two months following a trial in a court in Baku on 5 December in which she was accused of provoking the attempted suicide of Tural Mustafayev.

Ismayilova was arrested following the accusation of Mustafayev, a former contributer to Radio Azadlyg and another opposition media platform, Meydan TV, that she was the cause of his attempted suicide.

Before Ismayilova’s arrest, 15 police officers went to her house and conducted searches, according to EFJ.

“This is an absurd charge against Ismayilova by the authorities to silence critical voices in Azerbaijan,” said Ricardo Gutierrez, the EFJ General Secretary.

“It is clearly an another attempt by the government to intimidate journalists like Ismayilova who dare to report the truth and spoke out against the authorities in the country.”

Ismayilova, who has published a series of exposes on government corruption, EFJ added, has also been charged with libel in a separate case. In October, the EFJ together with the International Partnership Group on Azerbaijan condemned what they called the ongoing harassment and politically motivated criminal charges against her.

'Ismayilova was searched for five hours upon arrival at the airport and given a travel ban following her trip to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg,' the media guild said.

The EFJ also said it has repeatedly raised the alarming situation of media freedom in Azerbaijan where journalists face judicial harassment.