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Ismayilova's Trial Continues In Baku Amid Protests

BAKU -- A Baku court resumed the trial of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova on August 19.

Journalists, once again, were not allowed to attend the hearing.

Several journalists brought helium-filled green and red balloons -- the colors of the Azerbaijani national flag -- tied on Ismayilova's photograph, and let the balloons fly near the Baku City Court for Serious Crimes, where the trial is being held.

READ MORE: Excerpts From Ismayilova's Testimony

Ismayilova’s supporters chanted: "Freedom to Khadija!"

The 39-year-old Ismayilova, an RFE/RL contributor who has won awards for her coverage of official corruption in oil-rich Azerbaijan, is accused of embezzlement, tax evasion, and abuse of power.

Rights groups and Western governments have echoed Ismayilova's charge that the case is politically motivated.

On August 18, the court dismissed several defense motions – including a call for an additional week of talks with her lawyers, courtroom testimony from a man registered as a witness, and breaks from daily hearings to allow her a minimum of two-hours of daily exercise.