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2021, 12 May, çərşənbə, Bakı vaxtı 13:17

Khadija Ismayilova Reprimanded For Letters Sent From Jail

Azerbaijan - RFE/RL Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova, undated

April 28, during the hearing against a decision of Binagadi Court to fine the journalist for libel investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova said her cell was searched following the last three letters she sent from jail. The head of the detention center Azer Seyidov summoned Ismayilova two days prior to the trial and accused the journalist of slander. Ismayilova said Seyidov told her that the only reason she is not placed in solitary confinement this time is because of the approaching European Games. She was warned however that the next time this happens; she won’t be allowed to speak with her family on the phone nor meet them.

Unlike the previous hearing, Ismayilova was placed into a cage rather than a tank. Despite lawyer’s protest to sit Ismayilova next to her lawyers she was kept inside the cage with heavy security guarding the cage.

The guards attempted at looking at the document Ismayilova’s lawyer Yalchin Imanov handed to her during the hearing. They also tried to intervene when Ismayilova wanted to speak with her lawyers during the break.

During the hearing, Ismayilova’s second lawyer Fariz Namazli asked to invite the employee of the Anti-Terrorist Center at the Ministry of National Security (MNS) who concluded in 2011 that the text Ismayilova posted on her Facebook defamed Elman Hasanov (the plaintiff in this case).

The court dismissed the motion of the defense to hold a partial pre-trial and the hearing was rescheduled to May 12.