The European Union is calling on Azerbaijan to release arrested opposition figures on June 4, including the abducted journalist Afgan Mukhtarli and opposition politician, Gozel Bayramli.
The statement says that the launch of an investigation into this case would be welcomed, and that the EU will follow these cases closely.
“We expect that the due process of law be respected, as well as the civil and political rights of citizens and those residing legally in states other than their own.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
clearly states that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile,” reads the statement.
On May 31 Afgan Mukhtarli was placed in 3-month pretrial detention and has been accused of illegally crossing the state border (Article 318.1 of the Azerbaijani Criminal Code), smuggling contraband (206.1) and resisting the command of a customs’ officer (315.2).
Gozel Bayramli, the deputy chief of the opposition Popular Front Party (AXCP), was arrested on May 25 after she crossed the border from Georgia into Azerbaijan and has been accused of smuggling (206.1).
Recently an article appeared in an Azerbaijani government-run news site about “underground” Azerbaijani activists living in Tbilisi. In the article, Mukhtarli was mentioned in addition to the famous surgeon Farman Jeyranov, the Deputy Chairwoman of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan Gozel Bayramli. Jeyranov and Bayramli have recently been detained by the Azerbaijani authorities.