Letter: When UNESCO’s Director General Broke Her Silence

Khadija Ismayilova is an investigative journalist with Radio Free Europe and OCCRP. She responds to UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova’s letter to the Guardian about UNESCO’s relationship with her country’s repressive government.  Ismayilova spent 18 months in an Azerbaijani jail for her reporting about the ruling Aliyev family of Azerbaijan.

Photo courtesy of Khadija IsmayilovaKhadija Ismayilova (Photo by  Aziz Karimov)

OCCRP Investigations Named Global Shining Light Award Finalists

The Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) included two OCCRP investigations as finalists for the bi-annual Global Shining Light Award, a prize honouring “investigative journalism in developing or transitioning countries, done under threat, duress or under dire conditions.”  

Global Shining Light Award2015 Global Shining Light Awards, Drew Sullivan (left), Miranda Patrucic (middle) and Stevan Dojcinovic accepting their award. (Photo:OCCRP)

OCCRP Statement on the Arrest and Abduction of Journalist Afgan Mukhtarli

Afgan Mukhtarli (Photo: Afgan Mukhtarli/Facebook)Afgan Mukhtarli (Photo: Afgan Mukhtarli/Facebook) Afgan Mukhtarli is an Azerbaijani journalist, living in Georgia, who has worked with both OCCRP partner MeydanTV and with OCCRP. The Tbilisi-based journalist disappeared off the streets near his home on May 29 and was next seen in custody in his native Azerbaijan, where he has been charged with crossing the border illegally, carrying 10,000 euros in undeclared currency, and resisting border guards.

Through his lawyer, Mukhtarli denies all charges and claims he was kidnapped, beaten, had money stuffed in his pockets, taken to the border, and handed over to Azerbaijan authorities.

OCCRP will continue to work for the release of Afgan Mukhtarli. His arrest is an affront to international rule of law and his kidnapping is a crime in Georgia.

Mukhtarli has been working on stories on the business holdings of the family of Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev in Georgia. OCCRP will continue his work on these stories until his release.

When OCCRP partner, journalist Khadija Ismayilova, was arrested in Baku in 2014, OCCRP continued her work and published the Khadija Project, a series of investigative stories about the corruption of the Aliyev family, while she was in prison.

The message is clear. You can arrest one of our reporters, but a dozen will take their place. The truth will get out.

Killing Pavel


Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet’s reporting had challenged authorities from Minsk to Moscow and Kyiv. In a murder that shocked the world, he was killed by a car bomb in the Ukrainian capital in July 2016.

Journalism for Future Challenges 2017 Program

The OCCRP is partnering up with the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga) Center for Media Studies to present the Journalism for Future Challenges program again this year. 

sse rigaWe are looking for early career journalists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, or Ukraine who are looking to expand their investigative reporting skills, with a focus on organized crime and corruption, as well as to expand their professional network.

IRE Awards OCCRP and Partners in 2016 Contest

The Panama Papers project led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and Süddeutsche Zeitung, of which the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) was a partner, won two categories of the 2016 Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Award.  OCCRP and Serbian partner Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK) were also named finalists of the 2016 Tom Renner Award.

OCCRP ranked 69th in Top 500 World NGOs by NGO Advisor

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has been named 69th on the annual rankings of the Top 500 World NGOs—the highest ranking media/journalism non-governmental organization on the NGO Advisor list.