Isayeva is editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper Chernovik (English: Rough Draft) in Dagestan, described by Reporters Without Borders as "Dagestan’s leading independent newspaper". In this role, she ran a series of articles criticizing the Federal Security Service's tactics in fighting the region's insurgency.
In 2008, she published an interview with a former guerrilla leader in which the subject accused local authorities of corruption and connections to the Kremlin. She was subsequently arrested on 31 July under anti-extremist legislation for "inciting hatred toward law enforcement officials" and other charges. If convicted, she would have faced up to five years' imprisonment. Chernovik reporters Magomed Magomedov, Artur Mamayev and Timur Mustafayev were also charged, along with their lawyer Biyakai Magomedov.
The trial began in January 2010, with the prosecution claiming that Isayeva's articles "publicly justified terrorism". The prosecution also required her to take part in multiple psychological and linguistic examinations, on which its case was largely built. Following a defense challenge, the findings of these examinations were overturned by the Federal Centre for Forensic Examination in Moscow, and the case against Isayeva and her colleagues was dismissed on 19 May 2011. Following her acquittal, Isayeva stated that she saw the case as "a test for the institution of press freedom" in Dagestan.
Isayeva's reporting and prosecution drew the attention of numerous press and press freedom organizations. The editorial board of the US newspaper The Washington Post has praised Isayeva's work, calling her a "first-rate journalist" and "hero". UK press freedom group ARTICLE 19 condemned her prosecution as part of a "trend" of harassment by authorities of Dagestani reporters. Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists both hailed her acquittal, and the latter organization awarded her a 2010 International Press Freedom Award for risking her "freedom and security" for her reporting.
- ^ a b c d "Court acquits Dagestan’s leading independent newspaper". Reporters Without Borders. 20 May 2011. http://en.rsf.org/russie-court-acquits-dagestan-s-leading-20-05-2011,28336.html. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- ^ a b c "CPJ to honor brave international journalists". Committee to Protect Journalists. 2010. http://www.cpj.org/awards/2010/cpj-to-honor-brave-international-journalists.php. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- ^ a b c "Four ordinary journalists take extraordinary risks to do their jobs". The Washington Post. 22 November 2010. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/22/AR2010112205732.html. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- ^ a b c "ARTICLE 19 is concerned about ongoing prosecution of independent newspaper staff in Dagestan". ARTICLE 19. 21 March 2010. http://humanrightshouse.org/Articles/13774.html. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- ^ a b "Dagestan court acquits Chernovik journalists". Committee to Protect Journalists. 19 March 2011. http://www.cpj.org/2011/05/dagestan-court-acquits-chernovik-journalists.php. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
CPJ International Press Freedom Award laureates 1991 Pius Njawe · Wang Juntao · Bill Foley · Chen Ziming · Cary Vaughan · Tatyana Mitkova · Byron Barrera 1992 Thepchai Yong · Gwen Lister · Sony Esteus · Mohammed Al-Sager · David Kaplan 1993 Ricardo Uceda · Veran Matić · Nosa Igiebor · Doan Viet Hoat · Omar Belhouchet 1994 Navidi Vakhsh · Daisy Li Yuet-Wah · Yndamiro Restano · Aziz Nesin · Iqbal Athas 1995 Veronica Guerin · Ahmad Taufik · Fred M’membe · José Rubén Zamora Marroquín · Siglo Veintiuno · Yevgeny Kiselyov 1996 Oscak Isik Yurtçu · Özgür Gündem · Daoud Kuttab · Jesús Blancornelas · Yusuf Jameel 1997 Yelena Masyuk · Freedom Neruda · Viktor Ivančić · Ying Chan · Shieh Chung-liang · Christina Anyanwu 1998 Ruth Simon · Pavel Sheremet · Goenawan Mohamad · Gustavo Gorriti · Grémah Boucar 1999 Jesús Joel Díaz Hernández · Baton Haxhiu · Jugnu Mohsin · Najam Sethi · María Cristina Caballero 2000 Željko Kopanja · Modeste Mutinga · Steven Gan · Mashallah Shamsolvaezin 2001 Jiang Weiping · Geoffrey Nyarota · Horacio Verbitsky · Mazen Dana 2002 Fesshaye Yohannes · Irina Petrushova · Tipu Sultan · Ignacio Gómez 2003 Manuel Vázquez Portal · Musa Muradov · Aboubakr Jamai · Abdul Samay Hamed 2004 Paul Klebnikov · Alexis Sinduhije · Aung Pwint · Thaung Tun · Svetlana Kalinkina 2005 Shi Tao · Lúcio Flávio Pinto · Beatrice Mtetwa · Galima Bukharbaeva 2006 Atwar Bahjat · Madi Ceesay · Jamal Amer · Jesús Abad Colorado 2007 Gao Qinrong · Adela Navarro Bello · Dmitry Muratov · Mazhar Abbas 2008 Bilal Hussein · Danish Karokhel · Farida Nekzad · Andrew Mwenda · Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez 2009 J. S. Tissainayagam · Eynulla Fatullayev · Naziha Réjiba · Mustafa Haji Abdinur 2010 Laureano Márquez · Dawit Kebede · Nadira Isayeva · Mohammad Davari
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