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The News in Brief

Thursday, June 22
PACE Media Freedom Rapporteur on Mukhtarli Case

Volodymyr Ariev, chairman of the Ukrainian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and PACE General Rapporteur on Media Freedom and Safety of Journalists, expressed concern over the reported abduction of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli.

“I deplore the intensification of the repression against dissidents in Azerbaijan, and in particular against independent press. It seems that this assault is intended to silence an investigative journalist known for reporting on the corruption of Azerbaijani authorities,” Ariev wrote in his statement on June 20. “I call on Azerbaijani authorities to immediately release the detained journalist.”

“I also join my PACE colleagues Boriss Cilevics and Kerstin Lundgren and call on the Georgian authorities to fully investigate all allegations made in relation to this case and duly inform the Assembly of the outcome of these investigations,” PACE General Rapporteur added.

On June 6, PACE co-rapporteurs for Georgia, Boriss Cilevics and Kerstin Lundgren, expressed their concerns regarding “the alleged abduction and unlawful transfer to Azerbaijan of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli,” and “urged the Georgian authorities to fully investigate all allegations made in relation to this case and to be kept abreast of the outcome of these investigations.”

Mukhtarli’s case is being monitored by the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists. (

Helmut Kohl was a great friend of Georgia

By Tedo Japaridze

“Helmut Kohl, in hand with Edward Shevardnadze, Michael Gorbachev, and George H.W. Bush, convinced Europe to rise to the occasion and believe that history can progress, that unity and national sovereignty can go hand-in-hand, and that conflict is not inevitable when Germany is united.

“Today, perhaps more than ever before, we look to Germany for leadership, because its national unity required a leap of trust. We placed our trust in Helmut Kohl in the belief that Germany will become the custodian of a vision of European unity between nations and peoples, states and societies.

“I remember in 1996 joining a meeting between President Eduard Shevardnadze and Chancellor Helmut Kohl, in Bonn. Today all meetings are held in Berlin. That is the legacy of Helmut Kohl, for Germany and for Europe.

“The Chancellor of German reunification asked us to believe that a Europe “Whole and Free,” was possible, and Shevardnadze rallied a critical mass of supporters for this vision. Europe was convinced, not without resistance that the union of Germany and Europe were two indivisible dimensions of the same coin, that enlargement and national unity went hand-in-hand.

“Europe has come a long way.

“Through enlargement, transnational policies, and interdependence we are triumphing over war, oppression, and authoritarianism. For all that we owe much to the vision of Helmut Kohl, who saw no contradiction between patriotism and Europeanism, who saw in the nation a bond of pride that must be tamed by a community of values and interests. Georgia strives for its place in that community, and claims historic entitlement, in a bond signed between friends, Shev and Helmut, over a generation ago.

“We have been and remain committed to the notion of shared freedoms, foundational values, and rights, common markets and norms, which bind our nations in a civilization of mutual respect, the rule of law, joint prosperity, and the right of self-determination. We remain committed to the ambition of Europe that acculturates and tames the primordial instinct of the nation. And for this commitment, we must thank the generation of leaders that reached the brink of another era, looked over the chaos of the unknown, placed their trust in progress, and kept walking. Among these leaders, Helmut Kohl was first among equals.” (DF watch)

Istanbul-arrested Georgians sentenced to pretrial detention

Five Georgian citizens arrested in Istanbul have been sentenced to pretrial detention as a preventive measure, assistant of the Georgian Consul Lali Nakaidze has declared.

According to her, their main trial has not been scheduled yet.

The five Georgian citizens were arrested by Istanbul police yesterday. They are facing charges of robbery.

According to the Turkish media, a group of Georgians had been carrying out criminal activities in Istanbul for the last year.

The Turkish media provided the initials of the detained Georgians: Mikheil J. (31 years old), Mamuka J. (39 years old), Tariel S. (46 years old), Emzar R. (54 years old), Malkhaz G. (30 years old).

On May 16, Turkish law enforcers detained another group of five people in Antalya, who are accused of robbing cars and houses. (ipn)