Azerbaijan: Journalist Khadija Ismayilova to Spend Two More Months in Detention

Published: 27 January 2015

Khadija Ismayilova outside of the courthouse


An Azerbaijani court has extended the pre-trial detention of Khadija Ismayilova, the Radio Free Europe and OCCRP journalist.

Ismayilova was taken into custody  on Dec. 5, 2014, for what was to be two months pending trial. The court has now extended her detention for another two months. She is accused of driving a former colleague to attempt suicide, a charge she denies. No trial date has been set.

Governments, non-governmental organizations and human rights watchdogs from Amnesty International to the US Helsinki Commission have expressed concern that Ismayilova's arrest is politically motivated.  She has previously reported on the extensive business interests of the family of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks revealed the Azeri government condemning the work of Ismayilova. One cable reports President Aliyev said: “The local editor Khadija Ismayilova is a long-time opposition activist who considers herself to be an enemy of the government.” He added that he was looking for a “change of direction” at Radio Free Europe.