A coalition of international press freedom groups, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, today called on Azerbaijani authorities to lift the travel ban and end the politicized prosecution of Khadija Ismayilova, an award-winning investigative reporter. In the past week authorities in Baku detained Ismayilova upon her arrival from Strasbourg where she had traveled to brief European politicians on Azerbaijan’s human rights record; put her on trial over accusations of libel against a resident; and barred her from attending a pro-democracy forum in the Czech Republic, alleging that she was a witness in an unspecified criminal inquiry.
“Member states of the Council of Europe, the main human rights institution in Europe, need to speak up and hold Azerbaijan to account for failing to implement its human rights obligations. With Azerbaijan as chair of its Committee of Ministers until 14 November, the integrity and accountability of the institution is at stake,” the press freedom groups said in the statement.
A full copy of the joint statement can be viewed here.