SCOOP wins third prize “Nikola Mladenov” for investigative journalism

The team of investigative journalists of BIRN Macedonia won the first prize in the annual competition of MIM for journalism award “Nikola Mladenov” for best investigative story. The winning story on “Skopje 2014 under scrutiny” was awarded for the series of articles and interactive on-line database that disclose public spending for the controversial project “Skopje 2014”. Journalist Biljana Nikolovska won the second prize for the documentary “When the health system kills a child”, aired by TV Telma, which is a film version of the series of TV stories about the case of little Tamara Dimovska, the girl with scoliosis who died waiting for institutions to approve treatment abroad. The third prize was shared by journalist Xhelal Neziri from SCOOP Macedonia for the story “In the toxic kingdom of Jugohrom” and journalists Goran Rizaov, Saska Cvetkovska and Borjan Jovanovski for...

Azerbaijan Jails Top Investigative Journalist

Investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, who has written numerous hard-hitting stories on corruption in Azerbaijan, was sentenced Tuesday to seven and a half years in prison by the Azerbaijani authorities. The popular reporter, who worked for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and was a senior investigator for OCCRP, was convicted on charges of embezzlement, running an illegal business, tax evasion and abuse of power. Ismayilova insists she is being imprisoned for her investigative work and that the charges lodged against her are fabricated, an assessment backed by civil society groups and media freedom organizations. Her journalism for OCCRP, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and other press organs included major exposes of graft and improper business links of those in the close circle of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, including his family members. “This case was a travesty. It has more in common with...

Free Khadija!

A court in Azerbaijan has prolonged the pretrial detention period for Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist and contributor to RFE/RL who has been behind bars since December. The Nasimi District Court in Baku ruled on May 14 that Ismayilova’s pretrial detention period will be extended for three months. Ismayilova, whose investigative reporting has exposed corruption by Azerbaijani government officials, was arrested on December 5 and initially charged with inciting a man to attempt suicide. The man who levelled the accusation later sought to withdraw his complaint, but prosecutors have not responded publicly to that request and Ismayilova was handed additional charges in February alleging tax evasion, illegal business activities, and abuse of power. She denies wrongdoing and says all the charges are politically motivated. The May 14 ruling came two days after another setback for Ismayilova, who remains in...

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