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On July 30, the highly regarded National Press Club of the United States awarded its top press freedom award to Azerbaijani investigative journalist and Radio Liberty reporter Khadija Ismayil. Radio Liberty’s Editor-in-chief Nenad Pejic received the John Aubuchon Award on behalf of Khadija Ismayil, who is widely recognized as a political prisoner.
“This award is an acknowledgment of her heroism and strength of belief, but tonight it is also a call on all of us to raise our voices to condemn her arrest and to demand her release,” said Nenad Pejic.
Background: Khadija Ismayil was arrested on December 5 2014, on charges of inciting journalist Tural Mustafayev to suicide. In February 2015, additional charges of misappropriation, tax evasion, abuse of official powers and illegal entrepreneurship were filed against her. Amnesty International has recognized Khadija Ismayil as a prisoner of conscience.