Mittwoch, 25. Mai 2016

Khadija Ismayilova ist frei

Ende 2014 wurde die investigative aserbaidschanische Journalistin Khadija Ismayilova verhaftet, später zu siebeneinhalb Jahren Gefängnis verurteilt. Jetzt ist sie frei.

investigativ.ch hat seinerzeit berichtet und sich dem Protest zahlreicher Journalistenorganisationen angeschlossen. Nun, am 25. Mai 2016, wurde Ismayilova aus der Haft entlassen. Wir übernehmen den Bericht des Human Rights House Network

Khadija Ismayilova released on probation

On 25 May 2016, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan upheld Khadija Ismayil’s appeal and released her on probation. HRHN welcomes her release, and calls for the Azerbaijani authorities to fully rehabilitate her rights.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

"We welcome Khadija Ismayil’s release from prison. This is great news. We are happy for her and her family, and for her friends and her colleagues. We now call for the full rehabilitation of her rights," reacted Ane Tusvik Bonde, Regional Manager at Human Rights House Network.

Khadija has already served 1.5 years in prison, held on politically motivated charges for her work exposing corruption. She now faces 3.5 years on probation, and a two-year ban on professional activities.

HRHN trial monitors reported on events from the court today: "Khadija’s mother was there; she was very happy. When the court ordered Khadija Ismayil’s release, there were cheers and applause in the courtroom. Everyone was rejoicing. Everyone was there: Intigam Aliyev, human rights defenders, diplomats, media.”

In court, Ismayil’s lawyers – Fariz Namazli, Javad Javadov, and Vahradin Mehdiyev – argued that Ismayil had committed no crime and that she should have been released.

Monitors reported that Ismayil was not brought to the Supreme Court today, and that she will be released later this evening, once the court judgement is served to the prison administration.

Bonde continued: "We call on the Azerbaijani authorities to fully restore Kadija Ismayil’s rights and her ability to work. She should never have been in prison. More than this, the Azerbaijani authorities must end the crackdown on journalists and human rights defenders, and create conditions for independent media and civil society to operate in the country." 

"This release is not a sign of an improving climate in the country for independent journalists. The authorities must take steps to ensure that critical press is free, and investigative journalism is not punished, as elements to truly improve the space for freedom of expression in Azerbaijan," concluded Bonde.

Kadija Ismayil’s release comes two days ahead of planned global events calling for her release and marking her second birthday in prison, and amid mounting pressure from a global campaign raising awareness of the politically motivated case against her.

The planned events will still go ahead on 27 May 2016. They will now celebrate Khadija’s release and call for her full acquittal, demand the releaseof the remaining political prisoners, and call for real improvements in the human rights situation and the conditions for civil society in Azerbaijan. 

Khadija Ismayil is an award-winning investigative journalist. She was arrested in January 2014 and sentenced to 7.5 years in prison