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Human Rights Defenders

Ordinary people who work at great personal risk to defend the rights of their communities

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Front Line Defenders works to protect human rights defenders,
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HRD Spotlight: Khadija Ismayilova, Azerbaijan

About the Situation

On 25 May 2016, Azerbaijani journalist and human rights defender Khadija Ismayilova was released on probation, after spending 537 days in jail. The Azerbaijani Supreme Court, however, did not drop the indictment against her. Khadija is still facing 3.5 years in probation, a two-year ban on professional activity, a travel ban and other restrictions.

Khadija is a prominent journalist and well known for her investigative reports on corruption, including cases indicating the involvement of the Azerbaijani President's family. In 2015 Khadija was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison and it is widely accepted that the charges against her were fabricated to shut down her legitimate investigative work to expose corruption.

On 27 May 2016, Khadija will be marking her 40th birthday. Although we welcome the Court's decision to release her, we will still go ahead with our planned Solidarity Action in Grafton Street (Dublin City Centre), to mark her birthday and call on the Azerbaijani authorities to:

1. Drop the original charges against her

2. Quash the initial verdict

3. Lift the travel ban and the ban on professional activity

4. Allow Khadija to continue her legitimate human rights activities and journalistic work.

5. Call for the release of other imprisoned HRDs in Azerbaijan

Join Dublin Solidarity Protest for Khadija on her 40th Birthday

About Khadija Ismayilova

Khadija Ismayilova posterKhadija Ismayilova is a prominent journalist and human rights activist in Azerbaijan and is well known for her investigative reports on corruption in Azerbaijan, including the Presidential family's involvement. Prior to her arrest, Khadija reported on the situation of political prisoners in Azerbaijan and advocated for their release. She has been working for Radio Azadliq (a local service of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty) in Azerbaijan.

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FLD Award Finalists
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