IRFS acting chair Gunay Ismayilova was not allowed to cross the border

September 2nd, 2014

Acting chair of IRFS, Gunay Ismayilova was not allowed to leave the country on September 2. The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) was informed about it by Ismayilova herself.

According to Ismayilova, she was stopped at the border point and was told that she is not allowed to leave the country, when she wanted to fly from the Heydar Aliyev airport to Tbilisi to participate in an OSCE regional workshop which will be held on 3-4 September.  

“They did not present any document showing that the ban was valid, and told me that the ban was imposed by the Prosecutor General’s Office and that they are just enforcers. I have been questioned twice as a witness in connection with the criminal case opened against NGOs and answered the questions that interest the investigation, and when I informed the Department for Investigation of Serious Crimes of the Prosecutor General’s Office that I would not be in the country for 2 days, they told me that there is no official ban and that I could leave the country. However due to an unofficial ban, I could not leave the country,” said Ismayilova.

Ismayilova added that she would appeal to the court for restoration of her violated right, as the domestic legislation does not provide for imposing such a ban on a witness.

Note that former employee of IRFS, Abulfat Namazov was also not allowed to leave the country on August 31.

Recall that a search was conducted in the office of the IRFS on August 8, following which the office was sealed. Chairman of the organization, Emin Huseynov cannot be reached since then.