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Azerbaijan: Coalition of NGOs intervene for imprisoned journalist Khadija Ismayilova

Tuesday 19 April 2016 - 1:00am

kkPEN International and Privacy International led 14 free expression and media freedom organisations in submitting an intervention today in the case of Azerbaijani journalist, Khadija Ismayilova before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The intervention elaborates the freedom of expression and privacy implications of her case.

The appalling treatment of Khadija Ismayilova by the Azerbaijani authorities is symptomatic of a relentless crackdown on journalists and freedom of expression in the country in recent years’, said Jennifer Clement, President of PEN International.

'This important case before the ECtHR is an opportunity to not only redress the injustice in one egregious case but to give wider protection to the media as a whole.’

Ismayilova was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison in September 2015, after being convicted of charges that the members of the coalition believe are retribution for her reports on corruption involving senior government officials.

Before her arrest in December 2014, she had been subjected to a relentless campaign of intimidation and persecution very likely orchestrated by the Azerbaijani authorities to discredit her investigative reporting on corruption amongst the highest levels of society.

‘Khadija Ismayilova has suffered a serious invasion of her personal privacy through the installation of hidden cameras and wires in her flat and  publication of secretly filmed videos among other incidents. Azerbaijan has a positive obligation to carry out an effective investigation into these violations,’ said Camila Graham-Wood, Legal Officer at Privacy International.

The coalition is represented in this case by barristers Can Yeginsu from 4 New Square Chambers and Miranda Butler from 3 Hare Court.

The full intervention is available here: Khadija Ismayilova - Intervention