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RFE/RL Contributor Jailed In Azerbaijan To Receive UN Award

Azerbaijan. Baku. Journalist Khadija Ismayilova
Azerbaijan. Baku. Journalist Khadija Ismayilova

Imprisoned Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova will receive a UN press award on May 3 for "her outstanding contribution to press freedom in difficult circumstances."

Ismayilova, an investigative journalist and RFE/RL contributor, was selected last month to receive the 2016 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.

"Khadija Ismayilova highly deserves the prize and I am happy to see that her courage and professionalism are recognized," said Ljiljana Zurovac, president of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2016 Jury, on April 8.

The $25,000 prize is named in honor of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper, El Espectador, in Bogota on December 17, 1986.

Ismayilova is currently in prison on embezzlement and tax-evasion charges that rights groups and Western governments have criticized as political retribution for her reports on corruption involving senior government officials and their relatives.

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