Facing Possible Arrest: Interview with Khadija Ismayil

The interrogation of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayil continued on February 21, as she testified again on the criminal case under the article 284.2 (dissemination of documents containing state secrets), which was launched against her.

Ms. Ismayil was summoned several times to the Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office’s Department for Grave Crimes. The case against her was launched based on an allegedly confidential document presented to her by the former employee of the Ministry of National Security in 2011, which she shared on her Facebook page. The document uncovered cooperation of the Ministry of National Security with one of the members of opposition and stated that the person was paid 600 AZN for their services and blackmailed with an intimate video into working with the ministry. After numerous attempts to verify the accuracy of the document, Ms. Ismayil marked over names mentioned in the document and shared it on her Facebook page. Prior to Ms. Ismayil a number of Facebook users shared the document. One of them was Facebook user Mustafa Kozlu.

In her earlier interview with Meydan TV, Ms. Ismayil said that the fact that such a criminal case was filed, means that the document was indeed accurate and thus, acknowledged the Ministry of National Security’s unlawful actions of blackmailing in order to discredit the opposition. “In my opinion this should spur a public debate. Ministry of National Security spends our taxpayer money on such activities,” said Ms. Ismayil.

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