Free Media Awards 2012
Khadija Ismayilova - Azerbaijan

With her critical radio broadcasts for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and her astute articles on corruption, the abuse of power of power and breaches of human rights, Khadija Ismayilova from Baku is one of the most important investigative journalists in Azerbaijan.

Her discomforting, fearless stories have not been without disturbing consequences. A mudslinging campaign has tried to ensure her silence: “I will resist this campaign to destroy my reputation, and I will continue my activities. As a journalist who takes her work seriously, I have no other choice.”

Her courage and head-on treatment of oppression once again serve to emphasise Khadija Ismayilova’s strength, underlining her conviction that free speech cannot be silenced.

Khadija Ismayilova was nominated by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Human Rights House Foundation, Oslo, and by Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, Germany.