On the occasion of International Women's Day, the Index on Censorship
recognized Azeri journalist Khadija Ismayilova among eight women "who fought for freedom of expression in the last year."
A statement issued by the anti-censorship group on March 8 said, "We want to shine the spotlight on women who have stood up for freedom of expression when it’s not the easy or popular thing to do, against fierce opposition and often at great personal risk."
Ismayilova is the author of several investigative reports exposing corruption inside Azerbaijan's ruling family. Their publication by RFE/RL's Azerbaijani service
in 2012 unleashed an ongoing defamation campaign against Ismayilova that has included online harassment, physical threats, interrogations and false accusations of espionage
in the country's pro-government press.
Meltem Arikan, a writer from Turkey; Anabel Hernandez, a crusading journalist who has reported extensively on the narcotics trade in Mexico; and Jillian York, Director of Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) were also recognized for their courageous contributions to freedom of speech.