Harassment of Investigative Journalist Must Be Effectively Investigated

In a letter to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and the Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov, several human rights organisations, including Civil Rights Defenders, express their profound concern regarding the continued harassment and intimidation of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova.

The organisations urge the president to take immediate steps to ensure a prompt, thorough, effective and transparent investigation into the threats made against her, as well as ensuring the effectiveness of the current investigation into the violation of her right to privacy.

Khadija Ismayilova is an investigative reporter and talk show host with Radio Azadlig – the Azeri language service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). Her investigative reports often look into corruption allegations and business holdings of high-level government officials. The smear campaign against her started on 7 March 2012, when she received an envelope from an anonymous sender containing explicit photos of her and her boyfriend with a note warning her, “Whore, behave. Or you will be disgraced.” Khadija Ismayilova published the threat letter and continued her investigative work.

Read the open letter in full: Continued harassment and intimidation of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova.