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Baku Court Rejects Ismayilova's Request To Clear Her Record

Khadija Ismayilova

An appellate court in Azerbaijan has rejected an appeal by investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, who had asked for the removal from her record of charges for illegal entrepreneurship.

Ismayilova's lawyer, Fariz Namazli, said the Baku-based court rejected the appeal on October 7.

Ismayilova, a contributor to RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service and laureate of numerous international awards for her journalism, was arrested in December 2014 on charges that have been widely criticized as a politically motivate response to her investigative reporting on corruption involving Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and members of his family.

She eventually was convicted of illegal entrepreneurship, tax evasion, misappropriation of property, and other charges and was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison.

But in May, Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court annulled some of the charges against Ismayilova and ordered her release after reducing her sentence to a 3 1/2 year suspended prison term.

In August, Ismayilova's suspended sentence was reduced again to two years and three months.