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Khadija Ismayilova: 'You Have No Evidence Against Me'

Khadija İsmayilova
Khadija İsmayilova

Following the closed hearing on February 23 at Kurdakhani Baku Prison on the case of Khadija Ismayilova, the journalist was found guilty based on Article 147.2 of the Criminal Code (slander) and fined 2,500 manats.

Ismayilova who refused to return to the hearing after the break shared her statement with her lawyer Elton Guliyev afterwords.

"Dear participants, dear judge!

Today, I am supposed to say my final words at this closed-door hearing despite my calls to have it open. I don’t have much to say about the process itself or the charges brought against me. What makes this charge differ from the others? These charges, and those who have pressed these charges against me are nothing more but the tools of President Aliyev’s repression machine. In fact, to this day, we tried to create a society which can withstand the very actions of those instruments that are neck and neck to human dignity. Unfortunately, today, this is not the case as our country have become safe haven for liars, fake witnesses, dishonest prosecutors and judges.

As I said, this charge is no different than others. What does it matter to me, which lie they are going to use to jail me? The “incitement to suicide” charge that I have nothing to do with, or the charge of illegal entrepreneurship based on my work – which too was declared illegal – at the Azadliq Radiosu? And in case all that fails there is the slander charge for something that too I haven’t done.

The details are not that important, apart from one thing. How come authorities in possession of so much money, police, traitors, surveillance technology, and spies cannot come up with one proper case against me? Alas, if they cannot find anyone else but Elman Turkoglu to testify against me as a representative of Ilham Aliyev regime then I feel sorry for them.

Just like everything else in this country, repression apparatus too is corrupted. The “tall tales” introduced in the time of Heydar Aliyev are used against Ilham Aliyev. They are insulting us with poor quality charges and investigations. And among all other cases – Leyla Yunus, Anar Mammadli, Intiqam Aliyev, Seymur Hezi – mine is the worst example of this. Who knows, maybe this is for the best.

The Ministry of National Security, the prosecutor office, you – Mr. Sedreddin, with all your efforts trying to collect evidence, have failed at finding anything of substance. You have no evidence against me. It is up to you to decide which decision you make. This is the least of my concerns. I know that I am innocent, and no matter how hard you try to isolate me from the community, they too know I am innocent. The weight of the charges you bring against me now and will bring in the future is on you. So go ahead, carry it for as long as you can. All I know that the people wont carry your weight for you. The stability of the criminal regime will devalue together with manat. That is all!"

This statement was originally published on in Azerbaijani.