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

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

  • 'Kite Runner' Author Calls for Release of Journalist Khadija Ismayilova

    Novelist Khaled Hosseini has added his voice to the campaign for the release of Khadija Ismayilova, the award-winning investigative journaist imprisoned in Azerbaijan on bogus charges.

  • Azerbaijan: Meydan TV Shuts Down as Independent Press Shrinks

    Emin MilliMeydan TV, one of the few remaining independent media outlets with an office in Azerbaijan, terminated its operations in Baku today following the imprisonment of an award-winning Azerbaijani journalist.

  • Surge in Response over Jailing of Azerbaijani Journalist


    International protests are set this week over the arrest of award-winning investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova amid widespread fears that her two-month detention marks the crossing of a “red line” in human rights abuses in Azerbaijan.

    Protests against the detention of Ismayilova, who wrote anti-corruption investigations for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, have been planned in Georgia and Romania; one was held in Moldova on Saturday and one in the US on Monday.

  • Azerbaijan: Jailed Journalist Khadija Ismayilova's Home Searched

    Khadija Ismayilova

    New details have emerged about the bizarre case under which investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova has been imprisoned in Baku, Azerbaijan.

    A former friend of Ismayilova’s broke his silence on Saturday, Dec. 6 about his claims that she drove him to attempt suicide after causing him to lose his job and threatening to spread embarrassing information about him.

    Ismayilova’s lawyer has dismissed the allegations as “absurd,” noting that prosecutors possess neither facts nor evidence to support the claims.

  • Azerbaijan: Award-Winning Journalist Detained for Two Months

    Khadija Ismayilova arrives in court

    Journalist Khadija Ismayilova, a Radio Free Europe/OCCRP reporter, was taken into custody today in Baku, Azerbaijan, in the latest of a series of legal moves to put pressure on her.

    Ismayilova, known for her investigations into the business interests of the family of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, is charged in the latest case of inciting a man to commit suicide. She arrived at a court hearing this morning smiling and making a V-shaped peace gesture. After court deliberations, she was taken into pre-trial detention to last two months under section 125 of the country's penal code.

  • SOCAR Chief’s Son Practices "Charity" With Government Funds

    By Khalid Kazimov

    Rashad Abdullayev is one busy 21-year-old.

    At an age when many Azerbaijani youths would be happy to land entry-level jobs, he has amassed an impressive resume and an even more impressive portfolio of companies.

  • Azerbaijani Government Blocks Journalist from US Commission Hearing

    Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist and OCCRP partner facing criminal libel charges in Azerbaijan, could not attend a hearing scheduled at the US Capitol to testify on fighting corruption due to a travel ban she claims is illegal.

  • Azerbaijani Government Blocks Journalist from US Commission Hearing

    Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist and OCCRP partner facing criminal libel charges in Azerbaijan, could not attend a hearing scheduled at the US Capitol to testify on fighting corruption due to a travel ban she claims is illegal.

  • Azerbaijani Journalist’s Trial Continues

    The criminal libel trial of OCCRP partner Khadija Ismayilova is ongoing and will continue on Nov. 14. Additional details will be posted at that time.

    She has been accused by Elman Hasanov of publishing defamatory documents on Facebook alleging that he is a paid informant for the Ministry of National Security and a rapist. Ismayilova says that while she did publish a document about a paid informant, she did not identify the person. She further says she never published any information about an alleged rape.

  • Trial Continued for Azerbaijani Journalist


    Khadija Ismayilova

    By Nathan Goldman

    The criminal libel trial of Khadija Ismayilov, an investigative journalist and OCCRP partner, is ongoing in Baku, Azerbaijan. A travel ban preventing her from leaving the country remains in effect.

    The case is a private prosecution brought by Elman Hasanov, who claims that Ismayilova published two defamatory documents about him on her Facebook page earlier this year.

    Hasanov alleges that one document said that Azerbaijan’s Ministry of National Security (MNS) used a sex tape to blackmail him into becoming a paid informant for them, and the other was a report that claimed he had raped a woman in 1992 and used connections to have the charges dropped, after which the victim committed suicide.

  • TeliaSonera’s behind-the-scenes connection to Azerbaijani president’s daughters


    Leyla and Arzu Aliyeva

    By Khadija Ismailova

    Leyla and Arzu Aliyeva, daughters of President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, are even more invested in Azerbaijani telecoms than was previously believed.

  • Azerbaijan: Media and Regulators a Family Affair

    Ali Hasanov, chief of the Presidential Administration's department for socio-political affairs, Baku, Dec 2010

    By Khadija Ismayilova

    Sona Veliyeva is a busy woman.

    She manages a Kaspi newspaper, is a member of the National TV Radio Council, and owns and manages several companies dealing with education and university preparation courses.

  • Azerbaijan: Sentencing of Youth Activists Draws Condemnation

    On Tuesday, an Azerbaijani court sentenced eight activists from NIDA,  a youth civic action and opposition movement,  to between six to eight years in jail each, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)

  • Press Persecution in Azerbaijan: Where Investigative Journalism Is “Espionage”

    By Ana Baric

    Azerbaijan is maintaining its usual approach to press “freedom”: sponsoring pro-regime media and unapologetically repressing critical journalism.

  • Azerbaijan: Prize-winning OCCRP Reporter Questioned by Government

    Authorities from the Department for Grave Crimes in Baku have summoned Khadija Ismayilova, OCCRP partner and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty correspondent, for questioning relating to what the department alleges are leaks of state secrets.

  • OCCRP Reporter Donates Journalism Prize to Imprisoned Azerbaijani Editor

    Winners of the fifth Global Shining Light Award, including Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project regional coordinator Khadija Ismayilova, have donated their US $1,000 prize money to imprisoned Azerbaijani editor Avaz Zeynalli.