The General Prosecutor’s Office of Azerbaijan resumed the criminal proceedings initiated in 2011 on the complaint of journalist Khadija Ismaylova.
Khalid Aghaliyev, head of the group monitoring the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on Azerbaijan, reported about it on his Facebook page.
Recall that investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova faced threats and insults in the pro-government media in 2010-2011 after publishing her investigation on the wealth of members of the family of the President of Azerbaijan.
Besides, intimate video footage of the journalist captured by a camera secretly installed in her bedroom was circulated on the Internet. In spite of the fact that the journalist filed a complaint with law enforcement agencies and courts in Azerbaijan, no perpetrators were brought to justice.
The Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal case under Article 156 (violation of privacy) of the Criminal Code; however, the proceedings were terminated on August 17, 2015. Regardless of the fact that the journalist applied several times to reopen the proceedings, this was not done.
The decisions of local law enforcement agencies and courts on Khadija Ismailova’s complaints were appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, which found that the relevant authorities failed to protect the journalist’s right to respect for private life and freedom of expression, nor did they conduct an effective investigation into her complaint.
Note that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe last discussed the implementation of these decisions at its meeting on June 8-10 this year. In its ruling, the Committee called on the Azerbaijani government “to immediately reopen the investigation into the criminal acts committed against Khadija Ismailova (threatening letter, secret video recording and distribution of intimate videos), duly question all witnesses and examine all the evidence related to the case.”
Four months after this decision, the General Prosecutor’s Office resumed the proceedings of the suspended criminal case. Chingiz Askerov, Azerbaijan’s plenipotentiary representative to the European Court of Human Rights, informed the Committee of Ministers about it.
Khadija Ismayilova told Turan that after the decision of the Committee of Ministers she was invited to the Prosecutor General’s Office.
“I demanded to identify and punish those who impede the investigation. I was told there, we will inform you of the results.But I was not informed, but directly reported to the Committee of Ministers”, she said.
The journalist believes that the reopening of the investigation “does not mean anything yet, there must be held an effective investigation”.
She intends to continue to fight to the end to identify and punish those responsible.
In turn, the press service of the Prosecutor General’s Office confirmed the reliability of the information and the resumption of proceedings in the case.