Baku/19.03.20/Turan: PACE rapporteur on political prisoners in Azerbaijan Sunna Evarsdottir welcomed the release by the authorities of investigative journalist Afghanistan Mukhtarli, who has been in prison since May 2017 after his abduction in Georgia.
“I am very pleased to hear that Mr. Mukhtarly’s trials are finally over and he is reunited with his family,” said Evarsdottir. “The Assembly has already recognized Mukhtarly as a political prisoner, whom I visited when I was in Azerbaijan last September,” the speaker said.
“The Azerbaijani authorities must take decisive action to fulfill the obligations of their country as a member of the Council of Europe and a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, freeing all other political prisoners and solving the main systemic problems in this area,” she continued.
“They must, in particular, immediately implement all the elements of the relevant decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and begin constructive work with the Assembly on the recommendations set out in resolution 2322 (2020),” said Evarsdottir.
In turn, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Arlem Desir also welcomed the release of independent journalist Afghanistan Mukhtarli.
“I welcome the long-awaited release of the Azerbaijani journalist Afghanistan Mukhtarli.
I repeatedly appealed to the Azerbaijani authorities in his case, expressing serious concern and called for the removal of criminal charges from him and release,” Desir said.
“I am glad that now he can reunite with his wife Leyla Mustafayeva and daughter in Germany,” said Desir.