The Azerbaijani Ministry of Justice denies Mukhtarli’s allegations
Azerbaijani journalist and prisoner of conscience Afgan Mukhtarli says his health is deteriorating in prison and that he is not receiving the necessary treatment.
Mukhtarli’s wife, Leyla Mustafayeva, relayed his statement on her personal Facebook page. The Azerbaijani Ministry of Justice says that Mukhtarli has access to all the medical help and examinations he needs.
Who is Afgan Mukhtarli?
Investigative journalist Afgan Mukhtarli, known for criticizing the authorities, emigrated to Georgia in 2014.
In 2017, he was reportedly abducted from Tbilisi and taken to Baku where he was sentenced to six years in prison on charges of illegally crossing the state border, smuggling and resisting law enforcement officers.
Mukhtarli says that officers of the Georgian criminal police participated in his abduction, which has resulted in the case making a lot of noise in both countries.
International human rights organizations consider Mukhtarli a prisoner of conscience.
In June 2017, the European Parliament called on the Azerbaijani authorities to immediately release him and drop all charges. However, Mukhtarli is still in prison. Moreover, he was not included in the recent pardon, when 50 political prisoners were released under amnesty.
Details on Mukhtarli’s health
Mukhtarli phoned his wife, who now lives in Germany, from prison.
He said that his eyes were hurting badly, his diabetes had gotten more severe, he had problems with blood pressure and that he needed a urological examination.
Mustafayeva says that although the doctors of the penitentiary service examine Mukhtarli, they do not treat him. Moreover, neither Mukhtarli nor his relatives are told anything about his test results.
Reaction of the penitentiary service
According to the Caucasian Knot, Ministry of Justice employee Iftikhar Gurbanov said that Mukhtarli can be examined if he so wanted.
Lawyer Zibeyda Sadiqova says she has already appealed to the penitentiary service with a request to have Mukhtarli examined in a private clinic at her own expense.