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Jailed Azeri Journalist Ismayilova Releases New Letter

Khadija İsmayilova (file photo)
Khadija İsmayilova (file photo)

Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist and RFE/RL contributor who faces an array of charges she says are politically motivated, has written a fresh letter from prison calling on the world not to turn a blind eye to the actions of the Azerbaijani government.

In the letter posted on the Free Khadija Facebook page, Ismayilova warned that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is promoting his country as the only near-term option to Russia for new gas to Europe.

But Ismayilova wrote that the Azerbaijani government's "repressive actions...have been copied from Russia."

She said Baku's "banning" of NGOs and persecution of human rights activists and journalists on trumped-up charges, among other things, are practices taken from President Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Ismayilova’s detention has been widely condemned by international rights groups as part of a systematic campaign authorized at senior levels of Azerbaijan's government to intimidate and silence independent activists and journalists.

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