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A number of journalists on May 27 staged a protest in front of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Chisinau, asking for a fair trial in the case of the Azeri investigation journalist Khadija Ismayilova, who was convicted for writing investigations about the family of the Azeri President. The protesters said that even if the journalist was set free two days ago, she wasn’t absolved of responsibility. The protest was organized by the Journalistic Investigations Center, IPN reports.
Within the protest, which was mounted on the Azeri journalist’s birthday, the Moldovan journalists demanded that the charges against Khadija should be dropped as these are false. “This week, the Government of Baku release Khadija Ismayilova, but didn’t absolve her of punishment. She is to serve three years’ probation for an alleged deed, but she did her job actually,” said the head of the Journalistic Investigations Center Cornelia Cozonac.
The protesters also asked to set free the political prisoners in Azerbaijan, who include journalists. “We consider that no journalist, no defender of human rights should be jailed for their convictions, for the job they do. We must say no to the detention of journalists and demand that these should be set free, including from the Government of Azerbaijan,” stated Cornelia Cozonac.
Director of the weekly “Ziarul de Garda” Alina Radu said the journalists will continue to demand to annul the sentence imposed on Khadija Ismayilova because the journalist was set free, but the accusations against her weren’t dropped.
Khadija Ismayilova was arrested in December 2014, while in September 2015 she was sentenced to seven years and six months in jail. She was accused of abuse of power and tax evasion. A number of NGOs from different countries staged demonstrations in support of the journalist, saying she was actually condemned because she wrote investigations about the family of the Azeri President. Two days ago, the Supreme Court of Justice of Azerbaijan decided that Khadija Ismayilova should be released. Her punishment was reduced to probation of three years and a half.
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