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Baku Court rejects appeal from journalist abducted from Tbilisi

6 June 2017
Protest in support of Afgan Mukhtarli in Tbilisi (Mari Nikuradze/OC Media)

The Baku Court of Appeals rejected an appeal on 6 June by jailed journalist Afgan Mukhtarli. Mukhtarli was abducted from Tbilisi to Azerbaijan last week, stirring anger among local journalists and international rights organisations.

Meanwhile, local journalists staged a protest in Georgia’s parliament against the ‘silence from the Georgian authorities’ about the case. While attending a hearing at Parliament’s Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, journalists put black plastic bags over their heads.

‘Georgia’s authorities need to answer our questions and publish the footage showing how Mukhtarli was abducted’, local media outlet Netgazeti quoted the journalists.

The head of the committee, Sopo Kiladze, said that the message from journalists was clear, but added that the ‘we need to give a few more weeks to the police’.

The committee did not discuss Mukhtarli’s case.

Editors of online media outlets Netgazeti, Liberali, On.ge, and Studia Monitori met with US ambassador Ian Kelly to discuss Mukhtarli’s abduction on 6 June. Several other journalists met with the head of the EU Delegation to Georgia, Ambassador János Herman, the previous day.

Mukhtarli was beaten and taken across the Azerbaijani-Georgian border, where he was detained by Azerbaijani police. Baku’s Sabail District Court imposed three months of pretrial detention on Mukhtarli on 31 May. He is charged with smuggling €10,000 ($11,200), border trespass, and disobeying border guards.

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For more details about the case, Read on OC Media’s reports