European Parliament Demands Release of Afgan Mukhtarly and Other Azerbaijani Political Prisoners

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Xəbərin tarixi: 2017-06-15 18:59:45

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Thursday, urging the Azerbaijani authorities to release the journalist Afgan Mukhtarli abducted in Georgia, where he sought asylum, in late May.

The Azerbaijani authorities should immediately and unconditionally release the journalist and remove all charges from him, the resolution adopted in Strasbourg on Jun 15 says.

The European Parliament also demanded the release of all other persons who were arrested in Azerbaijan for the exercise of their fundamental rights and freedoms, including the freedom of expression.

In particular, it calls for the release of Ilkin Rustamzadeh, Rashad Ramazanov, Seymour Hazi, Giyas Ibrahimov, Mehman Huseynov, Bayram Mammadov, Ilgar Mammadov, Araz Guliyev, Tofig Hasanli, Elgiz Gahramanov, and Afgan Sadigov, and for lifting restrictions on the departure of Khadija Ismayilova and Intigam Aliyev from the country.

Official Baku should put an end to the selective harassment of journalists, human rights defenders and others, who criticize the government, and unconditionally release all political prisoners, European parliamentarians believe.

It is also proposed to remove restrictions on the activities of independent civil society groups, including providing them with access to funding sources.

The European Parliament emphasizes that democratic reforms, the rule of law, and respect for human rights should be the basis of a new partnership agreement between the European Union and Azerbaijan.

It also calls on the Georgian authorities to investigate the abduction of the journalist, as well as to ensure the safety of third-country nationals in accordance with obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.