Khadija Ismayilova, leading Azerbaijani journalist, jailed for seven and a half years

Khadija Ismayilova, a leading Azerbaijani journalist, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in jail for embezzlement and tax evasion.


Ismayilova focused much of her attention on stories which covered corruption including stories linking President Ilham Aliyev to several offshore bank accounts.


Azerbaijani activists Leyla and Arif Yunus were jailed just two weeks prior for calling for the boycott of the European Games. Both activists received lengthy sentences of eight and a half years and Arif of seven years.


Since 2003 the crackdown on opponents of the government has been extremely harsh and heavy handed.


Ismayilova said on Monday while in court that the crimes she stands accused of are the very things that she wrote about as a journalist while doing her job.


Azerbaijan Government officials and pro-government media outlets have accused her of being “pro-Armenian” or an “international agent”. Labels that are often given to the nations vocal dissidents.


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