Free Khadija

Azerbaijan's most prominent investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova has been jailed

What happened?

On 5 December 2014, a Baku court sentenced Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova to two months of pre-trial detention. Khadija is an award winning investigative reporter, recognised internationally for her brave and principled work in the face of the draconian Azerbaijani state and its president Ilham Aliyev.

Just days before her arrest, Khadija was accused of being "anti-Azerbaijani" by a senior government official.

Khadija faces a charge of "inciting suicide", but her lawyer and editors say she is being punished for her journalism. In the months preceding her arrest, Khadija faced increased pressures from the authorities. Fearing she might get arrested, she wrote: "Anti-corruption investigations are the reason of my arrest. The government is not comfortable with what I am doing."

If found guilty, Khadija could be imprisoned for three years.

Khadija's arrest comes amidst a renewed crackdown on civil rights in Azerbaijan, ahead of the inaugural European Games, which will be held in the country in June 2015.

Azerbaijan must drop all charges against Khadija Ismayilova immediately, and cease the harassment of journalists and activists.

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