By Khadija Ismayilova

Khadija Ismayilova is the recipient of the 2015 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. An Azerbaijani journalist at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), she has gained international acclaim for her hard-hitting investigative reporting on official corruption. After a years-long government campaign against her, Khadija was arrested on December 5, 2014, on spurious charges of inciting a former colleague to suicide—a charge she vehemently rejects. She remains in pre-trial detention, which has been twice extended through May 24, 2015.

Just in case, I want to remind my request to international community in terms of possible advocacy actions regarding my possible arrest:

Some of you want to help, but can do it only with private diplomacy.

Thank you, but No.

WHEN MY CASE IS CONCERNED, if you can, please support by standing for freedom of speech and freedom of privacy in this country as loudly as possible. Otherwise, I rather prefer you not to act at all.

I don’t want any private diplomacy for my case. I don’t believe in human rights advocacy behind closed doors. People of my country need to know that human rights are supported.

I also don’t want any release-appreciation trade for my release. My possible arrest will be just one of the more than hundred politically motivated arrest and government of Azerbaijan has managed to use revolving doors of prisons for getting positive feedback from the West: releasing one prisoner, getting praised, arresting two.

Originally Published by Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty