Azerbaijan must investigate threats against journalist

New York, March 8, 2012–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the threats made against Khadija Ismailova, an Azerbaijani journalist known for her investigations into high-level corruption, including secret, offshore businesses of President Ilham Aliyev’s family.   

“We are appalled by the intimidation tactics being used to try to silence our colleague Khadija Ismailova and call on Azerbaijani authorities to guarantee her safety and bring all of the culprits to justice,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “Ismailova is one of Azerbaijan’s bravest and most respected independent journalists. The individuals who are trying to smear her have already failed.”  

On Wednesday, Ismailova received photos of an intimate nature and a threatening letter in the mail, which warned her to stop investigating or be “hugely embarrassed,” the journalist said on Facebook. She released a public statement, saying, “After receiving a letter today, I am convinced and determined that I can withstand any blackmail campaign against me. I will continue my professional activity.”