CoE Human Rights Commissioner “Appalled” by Journalist’s Alleged Abduction
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 1 Jun.'17 / 00:45

Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe’s (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights, said in his Facebook post on May 31, that he is “appalled by what happened to Afgan Mukhtarli, an Azerbaijani journalist and activist, who has reportedly been abducted in Georgia and forcibly taken to Azerbaijan, where he is now facing prosecution for illegal crossing of the border and smuggling.”

“Mr. Mukhtarli had been living in Georgia since 2015, when he left Azerbaijan to escape the government’s repression of critical voices,” Muižnieks added. “According to his lawyer, Mr Mukhtarli affirms that money was put in his pocket by his abductors and alleges that they also ill-treated him.”

The CoE Human Rights Commissioner then stressed that “these are very serious allegations that require the utmost attention and urgent reaction by the Georgian authorities, which should carry out an effective, rapid and independent investigation into the events and take the necessary measures to act upon the results of the enquiry.”

At the same time, Muižnieks went on, Azerbaijan’s authorities “must release Mr Mukhtarli without delay and ensure that he fully enjoys his human rights, including the protection from torture and ill-treatment.”

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