The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled in favour of Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova who claimed she was blackmailed with a hidden-camera sex tape in order to derail her investigations about high-level corruption.
“We’ll have to achieve full justice on the case. Work is not complete without the perpetrators being brought to justice,” Ismayilova told Euronews.
The ECHR ruled Azerbaijan must pay Ismayilova €15,000 in damages and €1,750 in legal fees.
The 42-year-old said she was investigating a series of irregularities concerning Azerbaijani President Aliyev’s family businesses when the government retaliated through blackmail.
Ismayilova told Euronews authorities planted a camera in her apartment a few days after she published her first story on the Panama-registered companies of Aliyev’s daughters.
The ECHR ruling stated that in March 2012, Ismayilova received a threatening letter with still pictures taken from a video of her and her then-boyfriend having sexual intercourse.
She said the images came from a hidden camera planted in her flat.
The letter, posted from Moscow, read: “Whore, refrain from what you are doing, otherwise you will be shamed!”
Following this, the video was posted on the internet and, at the same time, several state-controlled newspapers ran stories accusing her of a lack of professionalism, anti-government bias and immoral behaviour.
The Court found that such acts were an “affront to Ismayilova’s human dignity”, which…