The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia said in its brief statement on May 31 that the investigation was launched under Article 143 of the Criminal Code - unlawful imprisonment - into the case of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli, who went missing on May 29 from Tbilisi. One day later, he was reported to be in a detention facility in Baku, Azerbaijan.
“Simultaneously, communication with the Azerbaijani side is underway. Once the factual circumstances are ascertained, the public will be informed in detail,” the Ministry added.
Vakhtang Gomelauri, head of the State Security Service, said “we should not hurry up” with conclusions and added that the “as the Azerbaijani side is saying, he was arrested while crossing the "green border" [unregulated part of the ground border] and not at the border crossing point.” He added that the details of this reported border crossing need to be ascertained.
Afgan Mukhtarli said on May 30 that he was forced into a car close to his house in Tbilisi by unidentified persons, whom he believes were representatives of the Georgian security services, and was later taken across the border to Azerbaijan.
The Amnesty International, London-based international human right organization, said in its press release on May 30 that Mukhtarli “is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment” in Azerbaijan.