Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   17 December

Azerbaijani court convicts Afgan Mukhtarli to 6-year imprisonment

YEREVAN, JANUARY 12, ARMENPRESS.  The trial of oppositionist journalist, human rights activist Afgan Mukhtarli took place on January 12 at Baku’s regional court, ARMENPTRSS reports Turan news agency informs.

Mukhtarli was convicted to 6-year imprisonment.

Afgan Mukhtarli claims unguilty and says his arrest is ordered by Azerbaijan’s ruling elite.

Afghan Mukhtarli is a known critic of the Azerbaijani authorities’ policies. Since 2015, he was forced to settle in Tbilisi. He disappeared two days ago, and later appeared in Baku and was jailed.

He said that he was kidnapped from downtown Tbilisi by unknown people wearing civilian clothing, who were speaking Georgian. He was forced into a car and taken out of Georgia, heavily battered, blindfolded and taken to another vehicle. He was then forced to a third vehicle, already on the Azerbaijani border, where he heard the kidnappers talk in Azerbaijani. The kidnappers framed him by putting a large amount of cash in his pocket, and now he is charged with smuggling and illegal border crossing. His attorney has already met him, and said that his client has bruised on his face.

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution calling on Azerbaijan to release journalist Afghan Mukhtarli and stop persecutions against him. “Armenpress” reports the MEPs also sharply criticized the bad situation of media in Azerbaijan.

The MEPS emphasized that the leadership of Azerbaijan should stop the criminal persecutions and imprisonment of journalists and human rights advocates and immediately set free all the political prisoners.

IN addition, the European Parliament has called on the Georgian authorities to carry out a detailed investigation on the case of Mukhtarli’s abduction and clarify the involvement of Georgian agents in the incident.

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