The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg 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 without her knowledge.
In a ruling published on 10 January the court said that "it had not been possible to establish 'beyond reasonable doubt' that the State itself had been responsible for the very serious invasion of Ismayilova's privacy."
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 for damages and another 1,750 euros to cover her court costs and expenses.
photo: The European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg (archive picture)
Ahead of the expected Armenia-Azerbaijan summit, Benyamin Poghosyan argues in this op-ed for commonspace.eu, that the negotiating paradigm based on the Madrid principles is doomed.
"In essence this is an olive branch to the government's critics", commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment. "Its significance should not be understated. President Aliyev has in the last weeks been preparing the country for major changes. This presidential pardon may well be the opening shot of more to come".