The official reasons given for the imposed travel ban are currently unknown and Azerbaijan authorities have to comment on Ismayilova’s case.
Concerns were raised following news of the travel ban over the immediate safety of Ismayilova. An ongoing crackdown on journalists and human rights activists in Azerbaijan has previously seen political targets subjected to similar travel bans before their arrest, leading to speculation that Ismayilova may soon be subjected to further government persecution.
Ismayilova is a leading oppositional journalist and activist whose work in investigative journalism has exposed many of the corrupt business connections of Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev and his close family. This latest ban comes after and ongoing ordeal in which Ismayilova has faced blackmail and hostile treatment from government and police authorities.
It is believed by some international groups that Ismayilova may be being targeted by government authorities in an attempt to silence her anti-regime work. Sweden-based group Civil Rights Defenders publicly stated their concerns for the safety of Ismayilova and called for the public to show their support in defender her civil liberties.