Khadija Ismayil’s mother passed away from cancer in Turkey
Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayil appealed to the bailiffs office to temporarily lift a travel ban imposed on her so that she could say farewell to her mother who was confined to bed due to a serious illness. However, Ismayil did not receive any response. Her mother, Elmira Ismayilova, passed away soon after in Ankara on 8 March at night.
“I went to the bailiffs office today to get my travel ban lifted. My mother is in Turkey and was diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer. She had been operated on but with little chance [of recovery]. Now there is a complication with her lungs. [The] Situation is critical. I can’t be with her because of our corrupt repressive regime’s revenge for my investigations. She could not be treated here in Azerbaijan because here doctors failed to even diagnose her. I submitted a written application explaining the urgency of the case and even provided a copy of the medical report. The bailiff told me they would consider it and asked me to inquire again tomorrow evening,” Khadija Ismayil wrote on her Facebook page on 6 March.
Elmira Ismayilova had been staying in a Turkish hospital since January 2018.
Khadija Ismayil was arrested in December 2014 and was later sentenced to 7.5 years in prison for tax evasion, embezzlement, illegal entrepreneurship and abuse of official powers. However, the journalist denied all the charges brought against her saying the case was fabricated on political grounds because of her scandalous articles exposing corruption at the highest levels of the Azerbaijani government.
In May 2016, the Azerbaijani Supreme Court ordered to replace Ismayil’s prison sentence with a conditional sentence, imposing travel restrictions on her. The journalist petitioned the court on a number of occasions requesting to lift the travel ban. However, her request was turned down.