Baku Appeals Court denies Khadija Ismayilova’s appeal

On November 12th Baku Appeals Court under judge Azad Imranov denied the appeal filed by Radio Liberty correspondent Khadija Ismayilova against the August 9 decision of the Sabail District Court to deny Ismayilova’s lawsuit against Yeni Azerbaycan newspaper and its chief editor Hikmet Babaoglu, as reported to the IRFS by lawyer Fariz Namazli.

The proceedings were attended by Khadija Ismayilova, her lawyer Fariz Namazli, and legal representative of Yeni Azerbaycan newspaper Aqshin Hummetov.

In a speech before the court Ismayilova said that journalist’s private life cannot be a subject of discussion. After a brief deliberation the judge denied Ismayilova’s appeal. The judge did not even regard the expression “drunkard” (as the newspaper had called Ismayilova) as an insult. Lawyer Fariz Namazli said that they will file a cassation appeal against the court’s decision.
Ismayilova had sued the Yeni Azerbaycan newspaper alleging the article “Khadija Ismayilova: the way she looks and the way she is” published in the newspaper was defamatory and “not based on facts”. She requested the court to order Yeni Azerbaycan to publish correction and pay 2,000 AZN for damages. Ismayilova’s initial lawsuit was denied by Sabail District Court on August 9th.  
On March 7th secret photos about the personal life of journalist Khadija Ismayilova were posted to Ismayilova herself and her family members. A few days later her intimate videotape was broadcast on a fake website. Ismayilova is being intimidated and blackmailed for her journalistic investigations.

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