Human Rights Commissioner Muiznieks Publishes Observations on Ismayilova Case

Nils Muiznieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, today expressed concerns about the freedom of expression in Azerbaijan in written remarks on the case of investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova, according to a release by the Council of Europe.

Khadija IsmayilovaMuiznieks said that Ismayilova’s case “is emblematic of the reprisals that journalists, bloggers and human rights defenders face in Azerbaijan because of their work.”

Ismayilova, an OCCRP partner, was sentenced last September to 7.5 years in prison in a nation where activists who work to expose human rights violations are “often selectively targeted with criminal prosecutions that defy credibility,” according to Muiznieks.

Human rights organizations have denounced Ismayilova’s conviction as politically motivated retaliation for her work exposing corruption among Azerbaijan’s ruling elite.