Azerbaijan urged to lift travel ban on journalist

12:30 • 24.11.17



Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova can't leave her country to pick up the Right Livelihood Award she won in Stockholm. As Azerbaijan's president visits Brussels, calls to lift the ban are growing.


Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, called in a statement on Friday for the travel ban to be lifted ahead of the 2017 award presentation on December 1 at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Dw.com reports.


"We call on all Member States of the Council of Europe to issue public statements calling for Khadija Ismayilova's travel ban to be withdrawn, her bank account to be unfrozen and for her and her fellow Azerbaijani journalists to be allowed to work unhindered in an environment free from intimidation," von Uexkull said in a statement,.


"Ismayilova is one of the most courageous and skilled investigative journalists of her generation," he added.


Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is attending the EU's Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels on Friday.


Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and 36 other human rights NGOs on Thursday released an open letter calling on EU leaders to press Azerbaijan to end its recent crackdown on journalists and opposition groups.

 

Aliyev has ruled the oil-rich South Caucasus country  since shortly before his father's death in 2003.


Azerbaijan is a small but strategically important country with a population of 10 million and a large supply of oil and gas. It is estimated that about one third of the gas used by the EU would come from Russia if not for Azerbaijan's supplies.


 

 





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