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Khadija Ismayilova the Winner of the 2015 "PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write" Award

The Azerbaijani journalist of Radio Liberty Khadija Ismayilova, arrested in Azerbaijan, became the winner of the 2015 "PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write" Award, Pen America reports.  The award of this year will be given on May 5, in New York American Museum of the History of Nature.

Ismayilova is a journalist, who has revealed evidences of corruption at state level.  She was arrested last year on December 5, charged for making her former colleague to commit suicide. Moreover, the latter on April 7, requested the General Prosecutor's Office to cancel his claim, stating that the complaint was related with his mental condition at the time, because of some problems and nervous shock, and now he wants to come to terms with Ismayilova.

PEN sent a letter to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, calling on to demand from Baku to release Ismayilova before the European Games. World famous journalists Bob Kostase (NBC News), Frank Deforde (Sports Illustrated), Steve and Mark Faynaru -Vada couple (ESPN) and David Remnike (The New Yorker) joined the letter.

PEN Executive Director Susan Nosseln in this regard stated: "Khadija Ismayilova has no fear. She has conducted many researches revealing the corrupted actions of country's top officials. She also sends letters from prison and declares that she will not keep silent, because freedom of speech in Azerbaijan has not been confirmed."

"PEN / Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write" Award is given annually to individuals persecuted and arrested. Since 1987, 35 of the 39 writers and journalists, who won this award have been released.
It is noted that on behalf of Ismayilova the award will receive the Azerbaijani exiled journalist Emin Milli.

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