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Jailed Azerbaijani Journalist Ismayilova Allowed To See Relatives

BAKU -- Khadija Ismayilova, a jailed Azerbaijani investigative journalist and RFE/RL contributor, has been allowed to see relatives for the first time since her arrest in early December.

Ismayilova’s sister Sabina Rahimova said March 25 that she had seen Khadija on March 24 in a Baku detention center and talked to her through a glass window.

Rahimova's daughter was also present.

Rahimova said that her sister's spirits were high and that Ismayilova asked her to pass on greetings to friends, colleagues, and other relatives.

Ismayilova, 38, was arrested on December 5 and ordered held in pretrial detention on suspicion of inciting an attempted suicide.

She denies wrongdoing and says her arrest was politically motivated retribution from the authorities for her investigative journalism.

Ismayilova’s detention has been widely condemned by international rights groups as part of a persistent campaign by President Ilham Aliyev's government to intimidate and silence independent activists and journalists.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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