Afghan Mukhtarly. Photo from his personal Facebook page:

30 September 2017, 10:30

Azerbaijani journalist Afghan Mukhtarly granted Pavel Sheremet Award

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) has announced that Afghan Mukhtarly, an imprisoned Azerbaijani journalist, became a laureate of the Pavel Sheremet Journalism Award 2017.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Afghan Mukhtarly, who left for Georgia in 2014, disappeared in Tbilisi on May 29. On May 30, he phoned his advocate and reported that he had been forcibly brought to Baku. On May 31, in Baku, the court arrested Afghan Mukhtarly for three months. The journalist was charged with violating the state border, smuggling and resisting a border guard. Afghan Mukhtarly denies the charges filed against him.

The EaP CSF Steering Committee granted Afghan Mukhtarly the Pavel Sheremet Award for "courage in journalism and outstanding achievement in the cause of freedom of speech in the Eastern Partnership region in 2017".

"We were impressed by the sheer bravery of the journalist who working in the face of ongoing harassment by the government took on sensitive hard-hitting subjects despite the risks to his own safety and freedom. Raising human rights issues and writing about ill-treatment of imprisoned human rights defenders and activists, Afghan Mukhtarly has shown the importance of solidarity towards those who dare to speak up and are paying a price for it," stated Dovilė Šukytė, Co-chair of the EaP CSF Steering Committee and Acting Director of the Eastern Europe Studies Centre.

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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