Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement today in reaction to reports concerning the abduction from Georgia of the Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli and his unlawful detention in Azerbaijan:
I am deeply concerned by reports concerning the abduction of the Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli, who was living in exile in Georgia, and his unlawful detention by Azerbaijan’s security authorities.
Both the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights state that no-one should be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. This case must therefore be investigated quickly and transparently, both by the Georgian and Azerbaijani sides.
In this connection, I welcome the investigation already instigated by the Georgian Government.
The Azerbaijani journalist Afghan Mukhtarli, who lives in Georgia, disappeared from the Georgian capital Tbilisi on the evening of 29 May 2017. The following day he re-appeared in the Azerbaijani capital Baku, since when he has been detained by the police there. Mukhtarli is living in exile in Georgia due to the repeated pressure to which he as a critical journalist has been subjected by the Azerbaijani authorities.