The U.S. Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan has condemned the “disgusting personal attacks” on Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova.
The United States Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan has condemned what it calls the “disgusting personal attacks” on Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova.
Ms. Ismayilova, an award-winning reporter who works in the Azeri language service of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty and has exposed official corruption in Azerbaijan, has been the victim of vicious attempts to blackmail and humiliate her.
In March 2012, after she refused to be intimidated by an anonymous warning aimed at silencing her, a surreptitiously obtained video of her intimate life was posted on the internet. Although the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration criticized the invasion of her privacy, an official investigation has not led to any arrests.
Throughout 2013 newspapers in Azerbaijan published articles criticizing Ms. Ismayilova’s personal life as well as factual inaccuracies about her and her family members.
In July 2013 another illegally obtained video of an intimate nature featuring Ms. Ismayilova was posted on the internet.
In its statement, the U.S. Embassy in Baku said, “We are deeply disturbed by the ongoing, targeted harassment of journalist Khadija Ismayilova. These actions are appalling and must stop.
“We continue to strongly urge the completion of a legitimate investigation into this case, in accordance with Azerbaijani laws and international commitments. Doing so will demonstrate that Azerbaijan is concerned about reporters’ rights and safety, upholding the rule of law, and promoting an ethical and robust media environment, particularly during this election year.”