The Azerbaijani court sentenced journalist Afgan Mukhtarli to 6 year in jail, South Caucasus Director at Human Rights Watch Giorgi Gogia said in a Twitter post.
In a mockery of justice #Azerbaijan court sentenced journalist #AfganMukhtarli to 6 years in jail on bogus criminal charges. He joins dozens of others in jail for nothing else, but criticizing the authorities! #FreeAfgan! pic.twitter.com/1IbPqdm4Jo
— Giorgi Gogia (@Giorgi_Gogia) January 12, 2018
Mukhtarli, his wife, Leyla Mustafayeva, and their 3-year-old daughter, had moved to Georgia to escape Azerbaijan’s vicious crackdown against critics of the government.
Mukhtarli’s reporting exposed corruption in Azerbaijan’s defense ministry. He also reported on the extensive business networks owned by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his affiliates in neighboring Georgia. Such reporting doesn’t go unpunished in Azerbaijan.
Mukhtarli was abducted on 29 May 2017 near his home in Tbilisi, Georgia, and then forcibly transferred to Azerbaijan after those involved in the abduction planted 10,000 euros in his pockets.