CLOSE

Azeri journalist seeks justice at ECHR

Azeri journalist seeks justice at ECHR

 

Internationally renowned journalist Khadija Ismayilova has complained to the European Court of Human Rights about the unwillingness of the Azeri authorities to properly investigate a series of threats, intimidations and gross violations of her privacy designed to force her to stop her journalistic work.

Over nearly a decade of journalism, Ms Ismayilova, recipient of the 2012 Courage in Journalism Award, has published numerous reports on government corruption and has become internationally known for her pro-democracy stance. In 2010, she started reporting on corrupt practices involving the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev (recently named “most corrupt person of the year” by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project) and members of his family. Soon after, she started receiving threats.

When Ms Ismayilova complained to the authorities, videos containing private footage from her apartment’s bedroom, obtained through hidden cameras that had been secretly installed in her house, were published on the internet and were widely referenced in government-loyal media.

Despite countless attempts to bring about a criminal investigation into this gross violation of her right to privacy, the Azeri authorities have showed no intention to effectively investigate the case. Ms Ismayilova has sought relief with the national courts through a number of proceedings but found no effective redress. She has been left with nothing but ongoing threats, reputational damage, a great sense of unsafety and continued risk of (physical) harm, which has also strengthened the public sense of impunity for attacks on journalists.

Because of the authorities’ failure to act, it has become more and more difficult for Ms Ismayilova and other independent journalists to fulfil their function as a watchdog.

Ms Ismayilova has petitioned the European Court of Human Rights to declare that the government of Azerbaijan has violated her rights to freedom of expression, privacy and access to justice, and to order the government of Azerbaijan to compensate her for the violation of her rights.

Ms Ismayilova is represented by the Media Rights Institute, MLDI’s Legal Director Nani Jansen and Douwe Groenevelt and Lara Talsma of international law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek.

Recent News

Call for Consultants: Update of Training Materials on Freedom of Expression in South and Southeast Asia

Purpose of the consultancy contract This is a call for consultants to review and update eleven existing training modules on freedom of expression in South and Southeast Asia. Background Media Defence’s vision is a world where journalists no longer face legal challenges that threaten their ability to report freely and independently on issues of public […]

Read

Media Defence et l’Impact Lab pour l’Etat de droit de Stanford Law School saisissent la Cour de justice de la CEDEAO contre les coupures d’internet ordonnées par l’Etat sénégalais

Le recours au nom d’AfricTivistes et de deux journalistes sénégalais vise à obtenir des mesures provisoires pour empêcher de nouvelles coupures d’Internet   READ IN ENGLISH   Dakar, le 13 février 2024 – Media Defence et le Rule of Law Impact Lab de la Stanford Law School ont déposé un recours devant la Cour de justice […]

Read

Media Defence and SLS’s Rule of Law Impact Lab File Case Before ECOWAS Court Challenging Senegal Internet Shutdowns

Filing on behalf of AfricTivistes and Two Senegalese Journalists Seeks Interim Measures to Prevent Internet Shutdowns.   READ IN FRENCH   Dakar, February 13, 2024 – Media Defence and the Rule of Law Impact Lab at Stanford Law School have filed a lawsuit before the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West […]

Read