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Jailed Azerbaijani Journalist Ismayilova Wins Media Freedom Award

  • RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service

Khadija Ismayilova, a jailed Azerbaijani investigative journalist and contributor to RFE/RL, has won a prestigious media freedom award that commemorates slain Russian reporter Anna Politkovskaya.

Ismayilova will be honored with the Swedish National Press Club’s Freedom of Speech award for 2015 at a ceremony in Stockholm on April 27.

"Khadija Ismayilova has shown great courage in exposing corruption at the highest level in Azerbaijan," the press club said in a statement.

She will be awarded for "tenacious investigative reporting and extraordinary bravery."

Ismayilova was arrested on December 5 on suspicion of inciting a man to attempt suicide.

In February, new charges were brought against her alleging tax evasion, illegal business activities, and abuse of power.

She denies wrongdoing and says all the charges are politically motivated.

Her jailing has been widely condemned by international rights groups as part of a campaign by President Ilham Aliyev's government to silence dissent.

The PEN American Center will also honor Ismayilova with a media freedom award on May 5.