Azerbaijan: Reporter Khadija Ismayilova Free, Forty and Back in Business
The hard-won release from prison of Azerbaijani investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova has been met with international elation, but observers warn that she remains on probation, as is freedom of expression in her home country.
An image of Ismayilova emerging from prison on May 25 with a smile and a here-I-am gesture spread online as a symbol of a collective victory over the powerful political machine that tried to silence her. "That's how you leave prison, smiling, [like] you've been to a nice vacation in Italy," said Keti Abashidze, South Caucasus coordinator for the Human Rights House Foundation. Abashidze along with several other of Ismayilova's friends, colleagues and supporters gathered in Tbilisi, Georgia on the reporter's 40th birthday, May 27.
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