World Press Freedom Day Brings Calls for Journalist’s Release from Prison

The government of Azerbaijan was under growing international pressure to release the investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova from prison Tuesday, as she was honored with UNESCO’s annual World Press Freedom Prize.

Ismayilova, a contributor to the Azerbaijani service of Radio Free Europe, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in jail in September on charges relating to abuse of power and tax evasion. Human rights groups say Ismayilova was prosecuted on sham charges because of her critical reporting on the repressive regime of President Ilham Aliyev.

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