Afgan Mukhtarli’s family leaves Georgia
Leyla Mustafayeva, the spouse of Afgan Mukhtarli, a journalist who was ‘kidnapped’ from Tbilisi, has left Georgia with her young child.
Mustafayeva’s lawyer, Archil Chopikashvili, wrote on Facebook that they are currently in Germany.
“Leyla Mustafayeva (like her husband) was likely to be kidnapped and become a victim of political repression by Azerbaijan.”
In an interview with on.ge, Leyla Mustafayeva stated that she has not yet decided whether to stay in Europe for good or not.
During her stay in Georgia, Mustafayeva said that she was being observed and that she did not feel safe. On 19 September she held a press conference in Tbilisi with another Azerbaijani political activist, Dashgin Aghalarli, where she displayed photos which appears to depict people following her.
Chipikashvili does not discount the possibility of a ‘crime’ being prepared against Mustafayeva and Aghalarly.
Before her departure for Europe, Mustafayeva appealed to the Parliament of Georgia with a request to create a special commission to investigate the actions of officials who were involved in the kidnapping of her partner.
Five months have passed since the day of Mukhtarli’s disappearance from Tbilisi, however there have been no new developments in his case.
- Mukhtarli disappeared from Tbilisi on 29 May 2017, and was later found to be in detention in Azerbaijan. According to Mukhtarli, he was kidnapped by local special service agents, who put a bag over his had and transferred him to the Azerbaijani side. On 31 May an Azerbaijani court charged him with trespassing of the state border, smuggling and resisting arrest by a police official. Mukhtarli however denies the allegations against him. On 4 October, the court dismissed his appeal to be released on bail.
- The European Parliament called upon Tbilisi to investigate the kidnapping of the journalist, and urged Baku to release him. Immediately after the kidnapping and arrest, the defendant appealed to the European Court of Human Rights to examine his case. They gave his case priority status and will examine it as soon as possible.