Khadija Ismayil



Campaign Description

#FreeKhadija is a campaign that began shortly after the arrest of prominent investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova in Azerbaijan. Her arrest was a blow to many of the friends and her family but also a sign that the government of Azerbaijan was ready to cross the red lines for the sake of silencing its key critics.

Campaign Objectives

  • Raise the case of Khadija Ismayil on an international level and get the help of the international audience in pressuring the government of Azerbaijan to release the journalist.
  • Carry out the successful campaign and get her released as soon as possible.

Campaign Target Audience

  • International policy makers
  • International rights based organizations
  • Decision makers and politicians
  • Azerbaijani society at large
  • International companies (such as Coca Cola when they decided to sponsor the European Games this summer)

Campaign Tools and Activities (Online & Offline)

The media both offline and online was the main tool used during this campaign. Several online activities took place such as awareness campaigns, adding to that offline events focusing on Khadija and other arrested journalists and several discussions on the state of political freedoms in Azerbaijan.

Campaign Outcomes

While Khadija remains behind bars, the campaign reached out to a wider international audience and there has been much international attention on Azerbaijan. This was especially visible during the European Games in Azerbaijan over the summer in 2015, and the amount of attention that really shed light on the state of press freedoms and human rights. In Azerbaijan as well, there has been more awareness about her case.


  • Getting Khadija's case recognized on an international level.
  • Showing the government of Azerbaijan that while it might have its prominent individuals behind bards, their work continues in their absence (the OCCRP network continued investigating stories Khadija started).


Khadija is still in jail, however this campaign is still going strong.

Social Media Channels

1452179523_social_facebook_box_blue 1452179575_social_twitter_box_blue

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.