Global action: 40 parallel protests for jailed Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova’s 40th birthday


Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova has been jailed since December 2014 on politically motivated charges, targeted for her investigative reporting exposing corruption among Azerbaijan’s ruling elite. To mark Ismayilova’s 40th birthday on 27th May 2016 and call for her immediate and unconditional release, the Sport for Rights campaign is collaborating with other networks to coordinate a series of 40 parallel protests in cities around the world.

The planned protests span 23 countries: Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Actions will take place in the following cities during the week leading up to Ismayilova’s birthday, with most events taking place on the 27th: Amsterdam, Antwerp, Berlin, Besançon, Bielefield, Brno, Bruges, Brussels, Budapest, Chisinau, Copenhagen, Dallas, Dublin, Groningen, The Hague, Istanbul, Kharkov, Kyiv, Laval, Leuven, Liege, London, Minsk, Moscow, New York City, Oslo, Oxford, Paris, Prague, Seattle, Sofia, Stockholm, Strasbourg, Tbilisi, Trondheim, Toronto, Vilnius, Warsaw, Washington, D.C., and Zagreb. Further locations will be revealed on 27th May.

Ismayilova’s supporters around the world will be tweeting using the hashtag #FreeKhadija. Protest participants will be sharing their photos on a global Facebook event page: The Sport for Rights campaign will be collating photos and information on its Facebook page and Twitter feed: and

For more information or for media enquiries, please contact Sport for Rights coordinator Rebecca Vincent at or +44 (0)7583 137751. Detailed information on each planned action, including individual contacts, can be found below.


City: Minsk
Location: Virtual
Sponsoring NGO: Belarusian Association of Journalists
Contact: Barys Haretski, or +375 17 2036366


Cities: Antwerp, Bruges, Leuven, and Liege
Locations: Various
When: Antwerp 26 May; Bruges, Leuven, and Liege 27 May
Contact: Hasan Gafarov, +32 465 465 142
City: Brussels
Location: Place Schuman
When: 27 May, 14:00-16:00
Sponsoring NGO: International Partnership for Human Rights
Contact: Simon Papuashvili, + 32 494 75 39 42


City: Sofia
Location: Presidential Building, 2 Dondukov Blvd.
When: 24 May, 14:00


City: Toronto
Location: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West
When: 27 May, 12:30-13:00
Sponsoring NGO: Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
Contact: Duncan Pike, or +1 (416) 515-9622, ext 262


City: Zagreb
Sponsoring NGO: Human Rights House Zagreb
Contact: Tina Đaković,

Czech Republic

City: Brno
Location: Moravske namesti
When: 27 May, 08:30
Contact: Jaromír Němec, or +420 775 264 711
City: Prague
Location: Staromestske namesti
When: 27 May, 13:00
Sponsoring NGO: Člověk v tísni (People in Need)
Contact: Adéla Pospíchalová, or +420 777
787 968


City: Copenhagen
Location: Københavns Rådhusplads (Copenhagen Municipality Square)
When: 27 May, 16:00-18:00
Contact: Güllü Djangirova, or +46 760 06 06 64


City: Besançon
Contact: Natiq Adilov, +33 6 67 06 68 49
City: Laval
Contact: Mahammad Mirzali, +33 07 82 04 34 44
City: Paris
Location: Embassy of Azerbaijan
When: 27 May, 11:00
Sponsoring NGO: Reporters Without Borders
Contact: Caroline Pastorelli,
City: Strasbourg
Location: Place Kléber
When: 25 May, 16:00
Contact: Aykhan Mehin, +33 0605704239 or +33 0782484967


City: Berlin
Location: Embassy of Azerbaijan (Hubertusallee 43,14193 Berlin)
When: 27 May, 11:00
Sponsoring NGOs: Reporters Without Borders Germany
City: Bielefield
Location: Kesselbrink (Skatepark)
When: 27 May, 16:00-20:00
Contact: Jasur Mammadov Sumerinli, +49 1737990626


City: Tbilisi
Location: Frontline Club Georgia
When: 27 May, 14:00-17:00
Sposoring NGO: Human Rights House Tbilisi
Contact: Nino Gvedashvili
City: Tbilisi
Location: Embassy of Azerbaijan (V. Gorgasali str. 4)
When: 27 May, 17:00
Contact: Orkhan Mammad,, +995 592 80 76 83


City: Budapest
Location: Central European University
When: 27 May, 12:00-14:00
Sponsoring NGO: Human RightS Initiative
Contact: Zsofia Viktoria Suba, or +36 302192625


City: Dublin
Location: Top of Grafton Street (Dublin City Centre)
When: 27 May, 12:30-14:00
Sponsoring NGO: Front Line Defenders
Contact: Erin Kilbride, or +1 207 450 5585


City: Vilnius
Location: Embassy of Azerbaijan (Gedimino pr. 35)
When: 27 May, 12:00
Sponsoring NGO: The Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House
Contact: Antanina Maslyka, or +370 674


City: Chisinau
Location: Embassy of Azerbaijan (ul Kogelnichanu, 64)
When: 27 May, 11:00
Sponsoring NGO: Center for Investigative Journalism in Moldova
Contact: Cornelia Cozonac, or +373 69070225

The Netherlands

City: Amsterdam
Location: Virtual
Sponsoring NGO: Netherlands Helsinki Committee
Contact: Harry Hummel, +31 703926700
City: Groningen
Location: Grote Markt
Contact: Kenan Kafarov, +31 610927558
City: The Hague
Location: Embassy of Azerbaijan, Andries Bickerweg 6, 2517 JP ‘S-Gravenhage
When: 27 May, 13:30-14:30
Contact: Efe Kerem Sözeri, or +31 647063422


City: Oslo
Location: Egertorvet, Karl Johansgate
When: 27 May, 11:30-12:30
Sponsoring NGOs: Human Rights House Foundation, Norwegian Helsinki
Committee, Norwegian PEN
Contact: Berit Lindeman, or +47 909 33 379
City: Trondheim
Location: Solsiden, Nedre Elvehavn
When: 28 May, 12:30-14:30
Sponsoring NGO: Amnesty International Midt-Norge
Contact: Tove Marie Paasche, +47 99 50 7125


City: Warsaw
Location: Prymasa Tysiąclecia Street/ Obozowa Street
When: 24 May, 10:00
Sponsoring NGOs: Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Polish Green Network
Contact: Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska, +48 504 080 152


City: Moscow
When: 27 May, 14:00-15:00
Sponsoring NGO: Amnesty International Russia
Contact: Sergei Nikitin, or +79032862559


City: Stockholm
Location: Drottninggatan 90, Stockholm
When: 27 May, 12:00-13:00
Sponsoring NGO: Östgruppen, Amnesty
Contact: Maria Hamberg, or +46 076-9456505


City: Istanbul
Location: In front of the Sea Museum (Deniz Muzesi) near the Shangri La Hotel in
When: 19:00 on Friday May 27th
Contact Minai Massimova (+905 442 560425)


City: Kharkov
Location: Майдан Свободи (Freedom Square)
When: 27 May at 16:00
Contact: Elmir Misir-zada, or + 38 0932860944
City: Kyiv
Location: Virtual
Sponsoring NGOs: Euromaidan SOS, Center for Civil Liberties
Contact: Oleksandra Matviychuk, or +38 0674 494839

United Kingdom

City: London
Location: Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 4 Kensington Court, W8 5DL
When: 27 May, 10:00-11:00
Sponsoring NGOs: Amnesty International, ARTICLE 19, English PEN, Freedom
Now, Global Witness, Index on Censorship, PEN International, Platform
Contact: Rebecca Vincent,, or+44 7583 137751
City: Oxford
Location: The Albion Beatnik Bookshop, 34 Walton Street, Jericho, OX2 6AA
When: 27 May, 17:30-19:00

United States

City: Dallas, Texas
Location: Klyde Warren Park (west side near children’s area – bring a picnic!)
When: 27 May, 19:00
Contact: Meredith Niezgoda, or +1 972-693-4505
City: New York City, New York
Location: In front of the UN Headquarters
When: 27 May, 14:00
Sponsoring NGOs: Access Now, PEN America
Contact: Emil Ismayil, or +1 917 714 2535
City: Seattle
Contact: Katy Pearce
City: Washington, D.C.
Location: White House
When: 26 May, 12:00-13:00
Sponsoring NGOs: Amnesty International USA, ARTICLE 19, Committee to
Protect Journalists, Crude Accountability, Freedom House, Freedom Now, Reporters Without Borders
Contact: Karl Horberg, or 203-733-6378

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