Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova has been warned this week that she may face threat if she returns to her home country of Azerbaijan.
Ismayilova is known for her investigative journalism, especially her high-profile pieces looking into the business-interests of President Aliyev’s family. She is also a radio host for Radio Free Europe and has contributed to several international and Azerbaijani publications.
Ismayilova is accused of being linked to a document posted on social media that claimed Azerbaijani secret services were responsible for an incident of blackmail in 2012 that sought to force her into handing over personal information on fellow opposition activists. The document has been refuted by many as false, and Ismayilova denies any involvement with its creation.
The threat of arrest is being taken very seriously by Ismayilova after a recent crackdown in Azerbaijan on civil society campaigners that has seen several journalists, activists and lawyers arrested under politically-motivated charges.