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Disappeared Azerbaijani activist found in Baku

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, June 1
Afgan Mukhtarli, an Azerbaijani activist who lived in Georgia due to controversies with the Azerbaijani leadership, has been found in Baku after his family announced that he had disappeared.

His lawyer said Mukhtarli phoned him and said he was at a central office of the Azerbaijani Border Agency and he was traveling there to better understand the situation.

He told the Georgian media that Mukhtarli’s “abduction” and “illegal transportation” to Azerbaijan was illegal as, based on international norms, if an individual’s life could be at risk in his/her homeland, he/she mustn’t be handed over.

The lawyer also told the local Netgazeti online agency that the activist was detained in Tbilisi, allegedly by local law enforcers, and then he was handed to the Azerbaijani people, who “violently beat him up”.

The lawyer Elchin Sadigov also claimed that the activist was transported to Azerbaijan “not trough the official checkpoint” and when he appeared at the Azerbaijani agency, Mukhtarli found 10,000 USD in his pocket.

The lawyer believes Mukhtarli may be sentenced for contraband and illegal crossing of border.

Mukhtarli’s wife, Leila Mustafaeva, stated early on May 30 that her husband did not answer her phone calls and she decided to inform Georgian law enforcers.

Mukhtarli is known for his critical attitude towards the Azerbaijani government, for which he was forced to move to Georgia in 2015.

Recently, one of the Azerbaijani state-run websites published an article on Azerbaijani activists working underground in Georgia. Afgan Mukhtarli was named among them.