The European Parliament plans to adopt a resolution on Azeri journalist Afgan Mukhtarli’s case on June 15.
EP to adopt resolution on Azeri journalist
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, June 13
As reported by the official webpage of the EU Parliament, issues on the media will also be discussed.
Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli disappeared from Tbilisi on May 29.
A day later he appeared in Baku.
Mukhtarli’s lawyer says he was detained by unknown people on May 29 near his house, taken to the Azerbaijani border with a large amount of foreign currency stuffed in his pocket.
On May 30, Mukhtarli was charged for crossing the state border illegally, smuggling and fighting against representatives of the government.
Baku City Court sentenced him to three-month pretrial detention.
Georgian NGOs and the parliamentary opposition accuse the government of being involved in his abduction.
They stress the case will have a negative impact on the country’s image.
Georgia’s Interior Minister GiorgiMgebrishvili highlighted that some Georgian media outlets, individuals and organizations, “groundlessly, without any evidence” (although their claims were in fact based on statements from Mukhtarli’s lawyer and wife), reported that Georgian special police units had participated in the journalist’s detention.
“It’s not right, and it’s unacceptable to make conclusions over such issues without any real proof. It’s unacceptable to try to discredit the state bodies that are responsible for the country’s security,” Mgebrishvili said.
He emphasized that Georgia is a democratic country with European values, striving towards Euro-Atlantic Integration and the state security bodies “had no hand” in the incident.
Mgebrishvili stressed that Azerbaijan “has never appealed to Georgia” to detain any of its citizens for their political reasons, and the journalist has also never asked for protection from Georgia’s law enforcement agencies.