Azeri Journalist Afgan Mukhtarli’s Pre-trial Detention Term Extended

An Azerbaijani court decided on Thursday to prolong the pre-trial detention of journalist Afgan Mukhtarli, who was allegedly abducted in Tbilisi on May 29 and put in pre-trial detention in Baku the next day, for two months.

Azerbaijani news agency APA reports that the information was provided by the lawyer of Mukhtarli in Azerbaijan Nemat Karimli.

Mukhtarli is a political migrant who left Azerbaijan three years ago. In Tbilisi, he held protests in front of Azerbaijan’s embassy and recently wrote about the persecution of Azerbaijani activists in Georgia. He disappeared on May 29, and the following day was found in the Baku police department.

Mukhtarli told his lawyer in Georgia that he was detained and forced into a car near his house in Tbilisi by Georgian Special Service officers. He said that he was beaten and EUR 10,000 were planted on him.

He is charged under articles 318 (illegal border crossing), 206 (smuggling) and 315.2 (resistance or application of violence concerning the representative of authority) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.    

The journalist’s wife and lawyer assure that Mukhtarli’s case is politically motivated and claim that he was transferred by Georgian law enforcers to the Azerbaijani side.

By Thea Morrison

Photo source: Reuters

18 August 2017 00:23