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Police Detain Journos Protesting Smear Targeting Azeri RFE/RL Reporter

RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service journalist Khadija Ismayilova (file photo)
RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service journalist Khadija Ismayilova (file photo)
Police in Azerbaijan have detained more than a dozen journalists protesting the apparent renewal of a blackmail and intimidation campaign against RFE/RL investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova.

The reporters were released after being taken to a police station in the capital, Baku.

The journalists, most of them women, chanted slogans including "Khadija, we are with you!"

RELATED: Threats Escalate Against RFE/RL Reporter In Azerbaijan

Ismayilova's reports have implicated President Ilham Aliyev, who will run for a third term in October, and his family in improper financial activities worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Ismayilova, who reports for the Azerbaijani Service of the U.S.-funded broadcaster, responded defiantly to the appearance on the Internet in early 2012 of an explicit video in which she was shown.

On August 1, RFE/RL called on Azerbaijani authorities to investigate the new video, which contains intimate and illegally obtained images of Ismayilova.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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