Georgian President Meets With Wife of Kidnapped Azerbaijani Journalist

Georgian President Georgi Margvelashvili received the spouse of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarly, Leyla Mustafayeva on July 27, 2017. 

The meeting was attended by Leyla Mustafayeva, her lawyer Archil Chopikashvili and Dashgin Agalarli - an Azerbaijani activist who has received political asylum in Georgia.

Also, in addition to the Georgian president, his press secretary Anna Dolidze and the secretary of the country's parliament Eka Mishveladze was present at the meeting.

After meeting with the president, Mustafayeva told reporters that she personally expressed her concern about the course of the investigation conducted by law enforcement agencies of Georgia.

She also noted that since the arrest of her spouse she managed to talk to him by phone only on June 27.

"Only a month later, before meeting with the president, I managed to talk with Afgan. He called me on the phone in the morning from prison. He said that everything will be fine. He asked about our state of health", Mustafayeva said and expressed her concern over the state of health of her husband.

"Even before his kidnapping from Georgia, he had health problems," she said.

Mustafayeva also added that Margvelashvili is the only official of Georgia who called the disappearance of Mukhtarli in Tbilisi a "kidnapping" and regarded it as "a threat to Georgia's sovereignty and security."

Recall that journalist Afgan Mukhtarli was kidnapped on May 29 in the center of Tbilisi and the next day appeared in custody in Baku. 

He informed his lawyer that he had been abducted by Georgian policemen who had handed him over to the special services of Azerbaijan on the border of the two countries.

Georgian Interior Minister Georgi Mgebrishvili categorically refutes the participation of Georgian policemen in the abduction of the Azerbaijani journalist. The Georgian Interior Ministry instituted criminal proceedings in connection with the incident and is conducting an investigation under the article "illegal deprivation of liberty".

Meanwhile, Mukhtarli's lawyers are preparing a suit in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against Azerbaijan and Georgia, pointing to a violation of a number of articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.

On June 15, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the case of Afgan Mukhtarli and the situation with the media in Azerbaijan. Deputies of the European Parliament strongly condemned the kidnapping of Mukhtarli in Tbilisi and his subsequent arbitrary detention in Baku. They urged the Georgian authorities to ensure prompt, thorough, transparent and effective investigation of the enforced disappearance of Afgan Mukhtarli from the country and its subsequent illegal transfer to Baku, and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

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