US hails release of journalist by Azerbaijan -State Department

WASHINGTON- The US government welcomed the release on Wednesday of Radio Free Europe journalist Khadija Ismayilova from a prison in Azerbaijan, the State Department said.

In September, an Azeri court sentenced Ismayilova, a prominent journalist known for exposing corruption among the ruling elite, to 7-1/2 years in jail.

Ismayilova was released on Wednesday after the country's Supreme Court amended her imprisonment to 3-1/2 years of suspended sentence.

"We view this as a positive step, and we encourage the Azerbaijani government to drop the remaining charges against her," the State Department said in a statement.
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