Over 200 journalists from 16 countries call for the immediate release of investigative journalist Afgan Mukhtarli, “who was kidnapped from Georgia on May 29, smuggled into Azerbaijan, and imprisoned there.”
“We decry the intensification of the Azerbaijan regime’s war against its dissidents, manifested by this unprecedented cross-border attack,” the letter reads, adding the “assault is intended solely to silence an investigative journalist known for reporting on the corruption of Azerbaijani authorities.”
“We think that the absurd nature of the crimes with which Mukhtarli has been charged in Azerbaijan underlines the determination of the regime to impose its repressive rule outside the country,” the journalists added.
The journalists also said that they “are alert to the reluctance of Georgian authorities to investigate the abduction,” and called on the international community “to intervene and support” the journalist.
“We are sure that the partners of Azerbaijan and Georgia in the West will disgrace themselves if they ignore this outrageous attack on the freedom of expression.”
The letter, published on June 15, is signed by journalists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Estonia, France, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.