Afghan Mukhtarly has been brought to the court. Baku, May 31, 2017. Photo by Aziz Karimov for "Caucasian Knot"

01 June 2017, 05:50

Azerbaijani activists: kidnapping of Afghan Mukhtarly to have negative impact on Georgia's image

Journalist Afghan Mukhtarly was kidnapped in Tbilisi with the consent of the Georgian authorities, which increased the pressure on opponents of the regime of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev. This opinion was voiced by the Azerbaijani activists interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot". Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe (CE) Commissioner for Human Rights, and the human rights organization "Human Rights Watch" (HRW) condemned the kidnapping of the journalist and demanded to release him.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on May 31, the charge of resistance to a border guard was added to the earlier charges of violating the state border and smuggling filed against Afghan Mukhtarly. On the same day, the court in Baku decided to arrest the journalist for three months.

In recent months, in Georgia, the authorities increased pressure on critics of the Azerbaijani authorities seeking asylum in the country. This was stated by Ogtai Gyulyalyev, the leader of the Public Alliance "Azerbaijan without Political Prisoners".

According to him, the Azerbaijani authorities put pressure on Tbilisi by using economic levers, including oil and gas supplies at preferential prices.

The Azerbaijani authorities staged a hunt for opponents of the Ilham Aliev's regime in Georgia, believes activist Dashgin Agalarly. According to him, on May 30, he himself was detained in Tbilisi.

Journalist Leyla Mustafaeva, the Afghan Mukhtarly's wife, also well-known as Leyla Ilgar, has said that 43-year-old Afghan Mukhtarly was an author of a number of investigations on corruption among Azerbaijani officials.

Leyla Mustafaeva associates the arrest of her husband with one of his recent investigations "The Aliev family business in Georgia" and with the organization of protests in front of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Tbilisi in connection with the violation of human rights in the country.

According to Noureddin Mamedli, the deputy chair of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), in recent years, most of the opponents of the Azerbaijani authorities left for Europe.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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