Today in Tbilisi, a group of Azerbaijani activists held a rally in support of the journalist-investigator Afgan Mukhtarly convicted in Azerbaijan to a six-year imprisonment. They were holding posters “Freedom to Afghan Mukhtarly!”, “The price to the investigator is 2 billion dollars!”, etc.
Mukhtarly, who received a residence permit in Georgia, disappeared in Tbilisi in May 2017 under strange circumstances. The next day he was arrested in Azerbaijan. The journalist said that he was abducted in Tbilisi, tortured, forcibly brought to Azerbaijan and detained. When crossing the border, he was planted 10 thousand euros.
The official charge alleged that he was detained during an illegal border crossing, resisted with violence against a border guard, and also tried to smuggle 10 thousand euros.
The Georgian authorities stated that they did not have information about the fate of Mukhtarly and reported on the investigation into the circumstances of his disappearance. For the period of the investigation, the heads of the border police and counterintelligence department were suspended from work. However, the investigation had no results and the question of how Mukhtarly found itself in Azerbaijan remained open.
Member of today’s action, a member of the NIDA Movement Ilkin Rustamzade stated that the purpose of the rally was to draw attention to the Mukhtarly case. “We demonstrate that we are closely following the case of Afgan Mukhtarly and are doing everything to release him.
We call on the authorities of Georgia and Azerbaijan to jointly put an end to the lawlessness created by them against Afghanistan and demand its release, “said Rustamzade. Another participant of the action, Bayram Mamedov, said that the authorities had been notified of the abduction of Mukhtarly, and this coincided with Azerbaijan”s investment in Georgia of $ 2 billion. Representatives of the Georgian authorities and international human rights organizations were informed about the action, but none of them participated in it. The action took place without incident.