Azerbaijan: Accuser Drops Complaint Against Jailed Journalist Khadija Ismayilova
The man who accused Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and OCCRP journalist Khadija Ismayilova of driving him to attempt suicide has withdrawn his accusation, RFE/RL reports.
Tural Mustafayev told the broadcaster that he has asked the Prosecutor General to rescind his complaint, which he claims he made in a period of “emotional stress”.
Ismayilova has been held in pre-trial detention since last December, when she was taken into custody in Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan. A day before her arrest, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s chief of staff Ramiz Mehdiyev issued a 60-page statement accusing Ismayilova of of treason and of having a “destructive attitude toward well-known members of the Azerbaijani community” in order to “please [her] patrons abroad”.
Ismayilova was initially charged with inciting Mustafayev to attempt suicide, but has since been hit with a flurry of unrelated charges, including embezzlement, illegal entrepreneurship, and tax evasion. She denies all charges, and many human rights organizations have condemned them as politically motivated.
Last month, a court extended her pre-trial detention to at least May 24.
Ismayilova is known for her investigative journalism, particularly into the alleged business connections of Aliyev and his family.