On 1 September 2015 Khadija Ismayilova had been sentenced to 7-and-a-half years, following questionable allegations including tax evasion and abuse of power. A number of aspects of the conduct of the trial reinforced the impression that the verdict was politically motivated.
Following the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan’s decision on 25 May 2016, FCO Minister for Europe, Rt Hon David Lidington MP, said:
I welcome Khadija Ismayilova’s release from prison. This is a further positive step for human rights in Azerbaijan following the release of other high profile figures in March this year. The UK calls on Azerbaijan to uphold its international human rights commitments and we remain ready to engage with the Government of Azerbaijan to support further improvements to human rights and democracy.