Afgan Mukhtarli ends hunger strike in Baku prison

Imprisoned investigative journalist Afgan Mukhtarli has ended his hunger strike after three days.

Imprisoned investigative journalist Afgan Mukhtarli has ended his hunger strike after three days.

Samir Asadli, the coordinator of the NIDA Civil Movement, told journalists that Mukhtarli took this step because of his health problems and dozens of appeals addressed to him by the activists and rights defenders outside the prison.

"Afgan suffers from diabetes. He refuse food and medicine for three days, causing serious health problems".

Mukhtarli’s wife, Leyla Mustafayeva, also confirmed on Sept. 24 that her husband had started eating again, saying, “Afgan stopped the hunger strike because of his deteriorating health situation." Days before Mustafayeva alarmed the public that the hunger strike might be detrimental to Mukhtarli’s health and he might fall into a coma.

Mukhtarli, who was jailed for criticizing the government, has launched a hunger strike in protest at the “severe abuse" of his lawyer Nemat Karimli. In a talk with Meydan TV Karimli said "he had a meeting with his client [last] Friday morning at the penitentiary station where he unexpectedly faced severe abuse."

Penitentiary Service spokesperson Mehman Sadigov also said Mukhtarli stopped his hunger strike although he previously said he was unaware of Mukhtarli’s hunger strike. Sadigov said that he “did not believe any violence" was imposed against Mukhtarli’s lawyer.

According to Karimli, he was forced to wait about 45 minutes at the entrance and then his shoes and socks were illegally searched. He also said forced to be searched after the meeting ended with his client.

"They wanted to read my notes, when I did not allow them to, they forcefully pulled my bag and read two papers from the court and my private notes," Karimli was quoted as saying. Karimli said he notified the Bar Association about the incident and plans to file a complaint to the court.

Mukhtarli was sentenced to six years in prison after he was abducted in Georgia last year and appeared in the Azerbaijani capital a day later. He has been charged with illegally crossing the border, smuggling and resisting border guards.

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