EU and UK politicians voice concerns about journalist Afgan Mukhtarli

Politicians in the European and British parliament are publicly calling for fair treatment of the Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli, who was abducted in Georgia and is facing trial in Azerbaijan.

Speaking to ECPMF from the European Parliament, Rebecca Harms MEP told ECPMF of her concerns. She said it is worrying that Afgan Mukhtarli’s lawyers are not being given proper facilities.

“I have been told that they could not have private confidential conversations. It has been reported that the notes one of the lawyers took in a meeting with Afgan have been read by employees of the prison when he left. Furthermore, it is not acceptable that family members could not visit him in the way it should usually be possible under the law.“

Ms Harms has travelled to Georgia, and spoke to Afgan Mukhtarli’s family as well as the authorities in the capital Tblisi.

They also raised fears about the health of the imprisoned journalist, who had moved to Georgia in the hope of finding a place where it would be easier to work as a critical investigative report.

The MEP says he has serious medical problems: “I learned this during my visit to Georgia when I started to try to understand the case at the beginning of his detention. His wife told me that he is suffering from diabetes and he also has pains around his heart and problems with his blood pressure“.

And as the talks continue about closer economic and political ties between the European Union, Azerbaijan and Georgia following the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels in November 2017, Ms Harms believes this case and other human rights concerns must remain on the agenda:

„In the relations with Azerbaijan and Georgia like with all other Eastern Partnership countries, human rights must be and are an important issue. The case of Afgan Mukhtarli is a sad example for the urgency of the matter.“

Meanwhile in London, a cross-party group of fourteen MPs is calling on the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to note that Azerbaijan is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights. In an Early Day Motion, they ask him to: “Advise the Azerbaijani Government that the role of journalism should be respected and that fears of reports of wrongdoing within government should not lead to persecution of the messengers.“

Support is building for the motion, which was initiatied by the former Conservative Cabinet Minister Sir Peter Bottomley.

Press release

Feindbild Journalist:in 8: Angst vor der Selbstzensur

Die Zahl der physischen Angriffe auf Journalist:innen stieg im vergangenen Jahr im Vergleich zu 2022 wieder an. Nach 56 Fällen im Jahr 2022 verifizierte das ECPMF für 2023 69 Fälle von physischen Angriffen auf Journalist:innen.

READ MORE
Statement

Georgia: MFRR partners strongly condemn new attempts to introduce a “foreign agent” law

The undersigned media freedom organisations strongly condemn Georgia’s ruling party's renewed effort to pass a Russian-style foreign agent law.

READ MORE
Statement

Safety and justice: demanding accountability for attacks against journalists in Serbia

Commemorating 25 years since the brutal murder of Serbian journalist Slavko Ćuruvija, media freedom organizations unite to condemn continued impunity in this case.

READ MORE
General

Three years later: Still no justice for murdered Greek journalist

Three years have elapsed since the assassination of Giorgos Karaivaz, a veteran Greek crime reporter. Today, the undersigned members of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) commemorate his death and renew demands on the Greek authorities to redouble their efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

READ MORE
Threat

Slovakia: Independence of Slovakia’s leading TV news channel must be protected

ECPMF is deeply alarmed by the actions of the Slovak government towards Slovakia's leading commercial broadcaster, TV Markíza.

READ MORE
Statement

CoE’s Recommendation represents a significant milestone in the fight against SLAPPs

CASE welcomes the Council of Europe’s Recommendation on SLAPPs, approved by the Committee of Ministers on Thursday 4 April.

READ MORE

Read news by categories: