OSCE Calls for Investigation into Baku’s Ill-treatment of Journalist

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WARSAW, Poland (A.W.)— On June 8, the Director of the Organization for Securoty and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Michael George Link expressed concern over the alleged abduction and ill-treatment of Azerbaijani journalist and human rights defender Afgan Mukhtarli by Azerbaijani authorities.

Afghan Mukhtarli (Photo: Facebook)

“The allegations of the ill-treatment of Afgan Mukhtarli and the circumstances of his return to Azerbaijan should be thoroughly investigated to establish the facts of his case, and should be duly considered in judicial review,” the ODIHR Director said in a statement. “Any identified abuses of power or criminal actions by law-enforcement authorities should be investigated, and anyone responsible for such actions should be held legally responsible,” the statement went on.

On May 31, a court in Baku ordered Mukhtarli to be held in pre-trial detention for three months, on charges of illegal border crossing, smuggling, and violence against police authorities. However, according to his lawyer, Mukhtarli was abducted on May 29 in Tbilisi, Georgia, and then forcibly transferred to Azerbaijan after 10,000 euros were planted in his pockets. The lawyer added that Mukhtarli was subjected to ill-treatment during the abduction, and showed visible sign of injures.

Director Link added that the ODIHR will continue to monitor the case closely and if the criminal charges against Mukhtarli are based on fixed evidence, the authorities must drop the charges.

Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: OSCE Calls for Investigation into Baku’s Ill-treatment of Journalist