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PEN Honors Ismayilova as Azerbaijani Journalist Begins Six Month in Custody

A Eurasianet partner post from <a href="http://www.rferl.org/content/azerbaijan-pen-american-center-khadija-ism…;

At a gala dinner in New York on May 5, the PEN American Center will award its prestigious PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award to jailed Azerbaijan investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova.
 
The same day, Ismayilova will mark the beginning of her sixth month in a Baku jail, where she awaits trial on charges she says are retribution for her hard-hitting reporting.
 
PEN's Goldsmith award is conferred annually "to an imprisoned writer of conscience in particularly dire circumstances," the NGO's press release states. Ismayilova is one of nearly 100 Azerbaijani civil-society activists who have faced criminal charges or other persecution in recent months.
 
Ismayilova, who works as a contributor to RFE/RL's Azerbaijan Service, was arrested in December 2014 on charges of inciting a man to commit suicide. Her accuser, Tural Mustafayev, has since withdrawn his statement and has applied to prosecutors to officially retract his complaint. In the meantime, however, Azerbaijani authorities have levied new charges of tax evasion and embezzlement against the journalist.
 

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Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

A Eurasianet partner post from <a href="http://www.rferl.org/content/azerbaijan-pen-american-center-khadija-ism…;

PEN Honors Ismayilova as Azerbaijani Journalist Begins Six Month in Custody

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