The European Court of Human Rights has ordered Azerbaijan to pay almost 17,000 euros to investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova in connection with a blackmail campaign against her that included the online posting of a "sex video" filmed at her apartment without her knowledge.
European court orders Azerbaijan to pay journalist $19,000 over blackmail campaign
But the court ruled that Azerbaijan failed in its duty under the European Convention on Human Rights "to investigate acts which had been an affront to Ismayilova's human dignity" and to protect her freedom of expression.
It ordered Azerbaijan to pay Ismayilova 15,000 euros ($17,300) for her pain and suffering and another 1,750 euros ($2,000) to cover her court costs and expenses, Tert.am reports, referring to RFE/RL.
Ismayilova, a former contributor to the radio station, had been reporting extensively on alleged corruption by the family of Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev in 2012 when she received a letter threatening to publicly humiliate her unless she stopped her investigative work.
The letter included still images from a video, shot using cameras hidden inside Ismayilova's apartment, that showed her having sex with her then-boyfriend.
The video was released online after Ismayilova refused to stop her investigative reporting about corruption and, instead, announced publicly that she was being targeted by a blackmail campaign.
Ismayilova later found the hidden cameras in her apartment and special equipment installed to transmit the video outside of her apartment.
When Ismayilova complained about the ineffectiveness of Baku's criminal investigation into the attempted blackmail, the authorities responded by releasing details from their probe that disclosed more information about her private life - including the full names and occupations of her friends, colleagues, and family along with her home address and the identity of the boyfriend in the video.