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.

Statement

France: Media freedom coalition condemns Vivendi’s disinformation campaign against Reporters Without Borders

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners strongly condemn the cyber disinformation campaign against the press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

READ MORE
Press release

Georgia: A crisis point for press freedom

Today, ECPMF publishes a report detailing the findings of its fact-finding mission to Tbilisi, Georgia, which paint a picture of independent media in the midst of an existential crisis.

READ MORE
Statement

Turkey: Freedom of the press and expression groups condemn broadcast regulator’s silencing of Açık Radyo

The undersigned freedom of the press and expression organizations condemn the decision by Turkey’s broadcast regulator to revoke the license of independent radio station Açık Radyo.

READ MORE
Feature

Blind Spots: How self-censorship impacts local journalism in Germany

Attacks on journalists in Germany have been on the rise for years. According to the latest study published ECPMF, there were 69 verified cases of physical attacks on media professionals in 2023, 13 more than in 2022.

READ MORE
Statement

The EU must do more to prioritise protecting media freedom and human rights in Turkey

The undersigned media freedom, human rights and journalists’ groups call on the new European Commission and the new European Parliament to strengthen their commitment to protecting journalists’ rights and freedom of expression in their relations with Turkey.

READ MORE
Statement

Kosovo: Dangerous attack by MP Dimal Basha on ECPMF’S Senior legal advisor Flutura Kusari

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners condemn Kosovo MP Dimal Basha's gender-based attack on ECPMF's Senior legal advisor Flutura Kusari, amid calls for media law reform.

READ MORE

Read news by categories: