Government Welcomes Releases of Khadija Ismayilova

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David Lidington, the Foreign Office Minister, has welcomed the release of Khadija Ismayilova from a prison in Azerbaijan. Ismayilova is an investigative journalist who was sentenced to over seven years in jail last year.

The imprisonment had been condemned as a human rights crime but the country’s supreme court this week commuted the sentence to three years which was to be suspended, meaning Ismayilova was immediately released. She is to continue to fight for a full acquittal from the allegations.

Lidington said in a statement:

“I welcome Khadija Ismayilova’s release from prison. This is a further positive step for human rights in Azerbaijan following the release of other high profile figures in March this year. The UK calls on Azerbaijan to uphold its international human rights commitments and we remain ready to engage with the Government of Azerbaijan to support further improvements to human rights and democracy”.

Ismayilova said on her release:

“I will continue my journalist work with renewed energy. I feel younger and more energetic, and I will fight until the end”.