The European Parliament, the EU’s elected representatives, have made clear they will not ratify a deal with Azerbaijan unless it improves it’s human rights record. The European Commission should now follow through with a clear message — Azerbaijan’s crackdown on dissent must end and political prisoners freed.
Dozens gathered outside Tbilisi’s Parliament building on Tuesday to mark a year since Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli was abducted in Tbilisi. Mukhtarli was sentenced to six years in prison by an Azerbaijani court on charges rights groups say are trumped-up. [Read more…]
Since exiled Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli disappeared from Tbilisi, reappearing a day later in an Azerbaijani jail, suspicions of Georgian involvement in his kidnapping have remained. Mukhtarli himself has accused the Georgian government of complicity, and while this is a charge they deny, local rights groups are becoming impatient with the pace and transparency of the official investigation into his disappearance.
An Azerbaijani court rejected an appeal by abducted journalist Afgan Mukhtarli on Wednesday, upholding his 6-year prison sentence. The day before the hearing, one of his lawyers had his license suspended for ‘politicising the case’. [Read more…]
The latest Eastern Partnership summit offered little to Georgia, raising questions as to what to do next. While officials in Brussels mostly advise patience, discussion in Georgia abound on the best way to attract the EU’s attention further. [Read more…]
The EU, US, OSCE, and local and international rights groups have urged Azerbaijani authorities to release Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli, who was sentenced on 12 January to 6 years in prison. Georgian authorities have also faced criticism for a the slow pace of the investigation into his abduction from Tbilisi. [Read more…]
Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli, who was abducted in Georgia last May, was sentenced to 6 years in prison by an Azerbaijani court on 12 January. He was convicted of smuggling €10,000 ($11,200) in cash, border trespass, and disobeying border guards. [Read more…]
The number of political prisoners in Azerbaijan is among the highest in Europe. This repression serves not only as a tactic of intimidating journalists, activists, and the opposition, but also an instrument of foreign policy. [Read more…]
The OSCE Media Freedom representative, Harlem Désir, has called on Azerbaijani authorities to end ‘restrictive measures detrimental to journalists’ freedom and safety’. The following day, authorities in Baku arrested another journalist, editor-in-chief of the Khural newspaper, Avaz Zeynalov. [Read more…]
The trial of investigative journalist Afgan Mukhtarli began in Azerbaijan’s Balakan District Court on 30 November. Mukhtarli was abducted from Georgia and taken to Azerbaijan in May, where he was charged with illegally crossing the border in possession of €10,000 ($11,200) in illegal money, which Mukhtarli’s lawyer claims was planted on him.