Azerbaijan: Journalist Faces New Charges

Fresh charges have been filed against investigative reporter and OCCRP partner Khadija Ismayilova.

The charges, according to the journalist's lawyer, Fariz Namazly, include running an illegal business, tax evasion, embezzlement, and abuse of power.

If convicted, she faces up to 12 years in prison. Ismayilova, who worked for Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty, denies all charges.

Ismayilova has been held in pre-trial detention since Dec. 5, 2014 on charges of inciting a former colleague to commit suicide. She denies the accusations, which international human rights groups believe are politically motivated.

A crackdown on independent media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has intensified in Azerbaijan in recent months. This week it emerged that Emin Huseynov, the head of the media watchdog NGO the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety, has been in hiding at the Swiss embassy in Baku for six months after a series of raids on his home and office.

Nothing more is known about the new charges against Ismayilova at this time. OCCRP will continue to report as information becomes available.