Mukhtarli Charged With Smuggling in Baku After Being Kidnapped in Tbilisi

Azerbaijani journalist Afghan Mukhtarli has been accused of illegally crossing the state border and smuggling, his lawyer Elchin Sadiqov told Meydan TV. 

His lawyer relayed further details of his kidnapping. 

"In his statement he claimed that around 18:00, he was forced into an 'Opel'-brand automobile while near his house. His hands were bound behind his back, and he was beaten. He currently has a bruise on his nose, his right eye, in the middle of his forehead and bruises on his left temple. He believes he has a broken rib. His head was covered with a bag, under which he was unable to breathe, his heart began to hurt. Afterwards they put a t-shirt over his head and closed it with tape". 

He was driven in the car for two hours after which he was transferred to another car, and then to a third: 

"In the last car, they were speaking Azerbaijani. When he opened his eyes, he saw the Azerbaijani customs border. They put 10,000 euros in his pocket. Mukhtarli had never seen this money before. He demanded medical attention at the border."

Mukhtarli is currently being held in a Baku temporary detention facility. 

Mukhtarli went missing on May 29 in Tbilisi. Mukhtarli is known for his outspoken criticism of the Azerbaijani government. 

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