Press release

UK extremely concerned by sentencing of Khadija Ismayilova in Azerbaijan

Minister for Europe comments on the sentencing of journalist Khadija Ismayilova


Speaking after the sentencing of journalist Khadija Ismayilova on 1st September Minister for Europe, David Lidington, said:

I am deeply troubled that Khadija Ismayilova has been sentenced to 7½ years. I’m concerned by reports regarding the conduct of the trial and urge the Azerbaijani authorities to review her case in a transparent and fair manner.

We call on Azerbaijan to abide by its international commitments to respect the rule of law while taking concrete steps to improve their human rights record. The UK will take every opportunity to raise concerns over human rights in Azerbaijan.

Notes to Editors

1.On 1 September, 2015 an Azerbaijani court sentenced journalist Khadija Ismayilova to 7 and a half years, following questionable allegations of incitement to suicide, tax evasion, illegal business activity, abuse of power and embezzlement.

2.This latest sentencing comes in the context of the ongoing imprisonment of other prominent members of Azerbaijani civil society. These include human rights defender Leyla Yunus, historian Arif Yunus, human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev, democracy campaigner Rasul Jafarov, independent election monitor Anar Mammadli, and politicians Ilgar Mammadov and Tofiq Yaqublu.

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Published 1 September 2015