US Opinion and Commentary

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“We Are Appalled…”

Posted September 4th, 2015 at 12:57 pm (UTC-4)
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Another blow to press freedom was leveled this week when Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison by a court in Baku. She was found guilty of criminal libel, tax evasion, illegal business activity and abuse of power. Most observers say she was guilty of doing her job. Ismayilova’s reporting for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty exposed corruption by Azerbaijani Presidennt Ilham Aliyev and his family. Jeff Shell, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees RFERL and Voice of America, denounced the Azerbaijani government for demonstrating “to the international community that it disdains press freedom, supports its own impunity and has little regard for human rights.” The State Department said it was “deeply troubled” by the sentencing and urged Azerbaijan to release Ismayilova and other incarcerated journalists.

Azerbaijan’s Injustice

Posted August 17th, 2015 at 9:44 am (UTC-4)
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President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, who in the last year and a half has turned with a vengeance against journalists, lawyers and human rights activists, has jailed about 100 people on trumped-up charges. One by one, he is now throwing away the keys, hoping to silence them forever.