1:00 pm (EST) Friday, May 25
The 57th Eurovision Song Contest kicked off in Baku this week, but will charges of human rights abuses, media crackdowns, and graft scandals involving the first family of Azerbaijan overshadow what’s meant to be a worldwide showcase of talent and goodwill?
To discuss this topic and more, we invite you to join Elisa Munoz, Acting Executive Director of the International Women’s Media Foundation, and Khadija Ismayilova, investigative reporter and talk show host for RFE/RL’s Azerbaijan Service, in a live discussion on Facebook.
“If they meant to stop me by this, I can assure you they have been wrong. They failed to do so,” Khadija Ismailova said. “I continue doing my investigations. I will publish my investigations as soon as I finish the story. If they meant to stop me, they have failed. If they meant to defame me, they have failed, because I have received the full support of my friends. Even religious figures of the country have expressed their support.”
RFE/RL Correspondent in Azerbaijan Targeted in Blackmail Campaign
Disturbing threats have been made against @khadija0576. Read Khadija Ismailova’s response to blackmailing on her Facebook page.
Ismailova has won numerous awards for her investigative reports into official corruption in Azerbaijan, including the finances and assets of President Ilham Aliyev and his family members. She recently consulted with the media company CNBC on the production of a television report entitled “Filthy Rich,” aired on February 23, that explored the family’s real estate holdings in Dubai. She has been interrogated by police on several occasions and has been the subject of slander campaigns in pro-government media.