Azerbaijan: Administration Weighs in on Journalist Blackmail Attempt
With one eye on the upcoming Eurovision contest and another on its reputation, Azerbaijan’s presidential administration on March 15 condemned the online appearance of a video purportedly depicting sexual activities involving investigative journalist Khadija Ismailova, a reporter for both RFE/RL and EurasiaNet.org. Officials have vowed to carry out a thorough probe, but Ismailova tells EurasiaNet.org she has yet to be contacted by investigators.
In a statement, administration spokesperson Elnur Aslanov condemned the video "as a campaign of provocative forces attempting to break the stability in Azerbaijan, harm the country’s international image and cause tension and confusion in society." He went on to claim that law enforcement agencies "will do their utmost to expose and punish those standing behind this dirty act."
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