Azerbaijani journalist kidnapped in Georgia in 2017 returns to Tbilisi
Azerbaijani journalist Mukhtarli in Tbilisi
This is Mukhtarli’s first visit to the country since his abduction.
Mukhtarli says he has returned to cooperate with the investigation into the case of his abduction.
This was his second attempt to come to Georgia; he was not allowed to board a plane from Germany on October 9, 2020 because of ‘a lack of documents.’
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Afghan Mukhtarli was kidnapped in broad daylight on May 29, 2017 in downtown Tbilisi.
He moved to Georgia with his family in 2014 because he was persecuted in his homeland for harshly criticizing the Azerbaijani government.
The day after the abduction, on May 30, Mukhtarli was imprisoned in Azerbaijan. There he was sentenced to six years in prison on charges of illegal border crossing, smuggling and disobedience to the authorities.
After three years in prison, on March 17, 2020, Mukhtarli was suddenly released and sent on a special flight to Germany, where his wife and daughter have been living since 2019.
Four years have passed since the abduction of Mukhtarli, and his case has not been investigated in Georgia. The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia is still formally investigating the case of Mukhtarli’s abduction under the first part of Article 143 (illegal imprisonment).