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Prominent Azerbaijani Journalist Sentenced To Community Service

Khadija Ismayilova accepting the 2012 "Courage in Journalism" award from the International Women's Media Foundation in New York in October.
BAKU -- A district court in the district of Binaqadi in the Azerbaijani capital has sentenced investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova to 220 hours of community service.

The June 11 court decision followed Ismayilova's refusal to pay a 400 manats (about $500) fine.

Ismayilova and several activists were fined in January after police have detained them at an antigovernment demonstration in Baku.

Last year, Ismayilova, a freelance RFE/RL contributor, was spied on, blackmailed, and threatened in an attempt to stop her investigative reports, which have focused on wrongdoing in the government and corruption.

In October, Ismayilova was among several female journalists awarded with "Courage in Journalism" prize in New York.

The award was given by the International Women's Media Foundation, which describes itself as "dedicated to strengthening the role of women in the news media worldwide."

With reporting by and