WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today released the following statement on the release of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) journalist, Khadija Ismayilova:

"I'm relieved to know that RFE/RL investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova has been released from prison in Azerbaijan.  I urge the authorities in Baku to allow her to continue her work and to permit RFE/RL to reopen.

“Free media is never a threat to stability, but a necessary check to shine a light on government and allow a country’s citizens to assess policy and correct course when needed. 

“Khadija's release continues a welcome trend, perhaps even a genuine thaw, and removes an obstacle to better relations between the United States and Azerbaijan."