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“Today I am even more convinced that the action against me has been
launched because of my articles related to the business of the
president of Azerbaijan’s family," said Khadija Ismayilova. She noted
that she was not principally engaged in the personal affairs of the
president. "Whatever I have investigated, no matter what major
projects are studied, everywhere I revealed the companies related to
families of the president, “ Khadija Ismayiolva said. Among them she
mentioned the construction works at the Flag Square and the
telecommunication project Azerfon.
The first warning with pictures aimed at discrediting Ismayilova was
received on March 7, but she was not frightened, and on March 9 she
appealed to the General Prosecutor Office and Interior Ministry,
who ignored her appeal.
On March 13, an intimate video of Ismayilova was posted on musavat.tv
website. At the same time, a smear campaign was launched in Yeni
Azərbaycan, Səs və İki sahil newspapers. The public, international
corganizations condemned the invasion of journalist’s privasy. The
representatives of presidential administration condemned the next day
Ismayilova noted that, on March 15, Baku Prosecutor’s Office opened a
criminal case based on her 9 March appeal. “Though I insisted on
launch of the criminal case under Articles 156 (invasion of privacy)
and Article 163 (hindering journalistic work), the investigation only
applied Article 156.
According to lawyer Adil Ismayilova, the investigation is slow. In
particular, the examination into the deployment of wires and the
cameras has been delated, he said. “Then a serviceman from Automatic
Telephone Station (ATS) #38 was called. It turned out that he
connected a landline phone cable to the apartment. The serviceman
admitted that he did it under an instruction from the leadership. In
this aim, a new phone number was allotted in July, 2011. However, the
phone number was removed after the video scandal.
Ismayilova suspects that the Ministry of National Security is involved
in this operation. “The fact that MNS officer Akif Chovdarov, who is
reported to be involved in beating and murder of journalists, was
awarded with the rank of General, made me even more sure on this
Ismayilova added that a law agency in the US will defend her rights
due to the fact that the footage was posted on a hosting service based
Shahvalad Chobanoglu, the head of the Preventive Investigation Group,
said that three domains were registered at the same time, of which
musavat.tv was used to share the video.
At the end of the press conference, Ismayilova noted that the Press
Council has not reacted to the ongoing smear campaign at
pro-governmental newspapers agaisnt her.
If the Press Council does not take measures against these newspapers
or does not responde to me, I will sue the newspapers, she said.