Policemen, Baku. Photo: REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

06 December 2018, 21:56

Baku activists associate Asadov's arrest with presidential election in Georgia

Mirtagi Asadov, the head of the Supreme Spiritual Administration of Muslims (SAM) of Georgia, has linked his arrest in Azerbaijan with his public activeness in Georgia. The protest vote of ethnic Azerbaijanis at the presidential election in Georgia could be the direct reason for Asadov 's arrest, activists believe.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on November 29, the Baku Court of Appeal (BCA) decided to release Mirtagi Asadov, the head of the Supreme SAM of Georgia, detained in Azerbaijan, from custody. The international resonance of his case contributed to his release, Khalid Agaliev, a law expert, believes.

According to Asadov himself, the reason for his arrest could be in dissatisfaction of Georgian authorities with his activities; he does not exclude that Azerbaijani law enforcers arrested him at the request of their Georgian colleagues.

"Of course, many dislike my religious and human rights activities. I speak in defence of the rights of Georgia Muslims," Mr Asadov has stated.

He also did not rule out the link of his arrest with the presidential election in Georgia. "I have an impression that my arrest was related to the presidential election in Georgia – I was unexpectedly released the next day after the second round of presidential election," said Asadov.

According to an activist of the "Muslim Unity" movement, who asked not to name him, in the first round of election, ethnic Azerbaijanis supported the oppositional presidential candidate, and the Georgian authorities could associate that with Asadov.

"Georgian authorities could be interested in temporary isolation of Mirtagi Asadov, and, for this purpose, could have benefited from his short-term departure to Azerbaijan. Please note that Asadov was released before time on the next day after the second round of presidential election," he said.

The activist drew parallels with the case of the journalist Afghan Mukhtarly. "Journalist Afghan Mukhtarly was kidnapped in Tbilisi and secretly brought to Azerbaijan, of course, not without the knowledge of Georgian authorities. In the case of Mirtagi Asadov, the Azerbaijani side could well make a favour in response to their Georgian counterparts," said the source.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 6, 2018 at 06:54 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid; Source: CK correspondent

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