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The News in Brief

Friday, July 27
Azerbaijani Journalist Says Georgia Is Involved in His Kidnapping

The written testimony of Afghan Mukhtarli, Azerbaijani journalist, who was allegedly abducted from Georgia and taken to Baku in May 2017, currently accused of “illegal border crossing, smuggling, and resistance or application of violence concerning a representative of authority,” says in his written testimony that Georgian side is involved in his kidnapping case.

The Defense side has handed over the testimony to the Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia.

In his testimony Mukhtarli remembers the details of May 29 of 2017, when he disappeared from the vicinity of his house. Afghan Mukhtarli says that the incident is connected with his work.

“The government of Georgia, the criminal police, the border police and the head of Lagodekhi customs border checkpoint are directly connected to my kidnapping, because after I was kidnapped I was handed to the Azerbaijani side in the neutral territory and I was brought through Lagodekhi border checkpoint,” Mukhtarli’s testimony reads.

The man accuses both Georgian and Azerbaijani sides of cooperation against him, and claims he is a political prisoner.

The Journalist says the reason for his abduction and transfer is that he, like many other Azerbaijani journalists, is in opposition to the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Alyiev.

Armenian PM Says Co-op with Georgia within NATO Frames Is Important

Armenian Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan says the relations with Georgia are very important for Armenia.

Pashinyan made the statement in his interview with Russian radio station “Ekho Moskvy”.

He underlined that cooperation with NATO is not collaboration against anyone, adding in this framework relations with Georgia are of great importance.

“This cooperation is a regional cooperation method. We cooperate with Georgia within this. Unfortunately, Armenia and Georgia have different foreign policy and need to balance the situation. Having the relations with Georgia within the frames of NATO is very important for us, "said Armenian Prime Minister.

International Organization for Migration Releases Statistics of Georgian Asylum-Seekers

Georgia Program Officer of the International Organization for Migration, Mark Hulst stated that In January-June 2018, 490 citizens of Georgia applied for asylum in Sweden, 2485 – in Germany, 471 - in Belgium, 81 - in the Netherlands.

He underlined that the number of asylum seekers from Georgia in EU states is decreasing.

However, the officer noted in some countries there is a growing tendency of Georgian asylum-seekers, for example in Belgium and the Netherlands, adding the scale is relatively low in these two countries.

Moreover, Hulst noted that a citizen who left Georgia has a zero chance to receive an asylum in any country.

“Only 1% of persons seeking asylum obtained the status in Germany,” Mark Hulst said.
(Prepared by Messenger Staff)