Volodymyr Ariev, chairman of the Ukrainian delegation to Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and PACE General Rapporteur on Media Freedom and Safety of Journalists, expressed concern over the reported abduction of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli.
“I deplore the intensification of the repression against dissidents in Azerbaijan, and in particular against independent press. It seems that this assault is intended to silence an investigative journalist known for reporting on the corruption of Azerbaijani authorities,” Ariev wrote in his statement on June 20. “I call on Azerbaijani authorities to immediately release the detained journalist.”
“I also join my PACE colleagues Boriss Cilevics and Kerstin Lundgren and call on the Georgian authorities to fully investigate all allegations made in relation to this case and duly inform the Assembly of the outcome of these investigations,” PACE General Rapporteur added.
On June 6, PACE co-rapporteurs for Georgia, Boriss Cilevics and Kerstin Lundgren, expressed their concerns regarding “the alleged abduction and unlawful transfer to Azerbaijan of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli,” and “urged the Georgian authorities to fully investigate all allegations made in relation to this case and to be kept abreast of the outcome of these investigations.”
Mukhtarli’s case is being monitored by the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists.