The European Court of Human Rights
will begin its consideration of the abduction of the Azerbaijani investigative journalist Afgan Mukhtarli. The Court has already contacted the Azerbaijani government with a request for information (June 8).
The case has been prioritized by the Court due to the seriousness of the charges and the allegations of kidnapping.
Mukhtarli was abducted on May 29 in Tbilisi, later resurfaced in police custody Baku. His lawyer reports that, Mukhtarli was kidnapped by the Georgian police and handed over to Azerbaijan special forces of Azerbaijan at the Georgian-Azerbaijani border, at which point 10,000 EUR in cash were planted in his pockets.
He has been charged under Article 318.1 (“illegal border crossing”), Article 206.1 (“smuggling”), and Article 315.2 (“violence against police authority”), and sentenced to three months’ pre-trial detention.
According to the journalist’s lawyer Elchin Sadigov, Mukhtarli has been denied access to a doctor. Sadigov believes this is an attempt to conceal remaining evidence of torture during detention.