Politics 19:58 05/06/2017 Region

Arrest of Azerbaijani journalist Mukhtarli is an attempt to stifle the opposition – political analyst

The arrest of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli fully fits into the logic of Azerbaijan’s authorities to silence any criticism against the regime, Sergey Minasyan, political analyst, Deputy Head of Yerevan-based Caucasus Institute, said in an interview with Panorama.am.

“This comes as a part of similar actions which are in fact based on Aliyev’s obsession with clinging onto power at any costs. People, who express anti-Aliyev statements, face problems one way or another. Let’s recall the case of Russian blogger Alexander Lapshin. He was extradited to Baku under the pretext of visiting Artsakh, however the most important thing was that he had dared to speak out against the Aliyev regime,” the political analyst said, adding that Aliyev  attempts to stifle the opposition forces both within Azerbaijan and beyond its borders.

In Mr. Minasyan’s words, the case of Afgan Mukhtarli’s arrest has quite unique aspects, starting from the rapid response by the Georgian authorities to the reaction of the international community. However, the expert claimed that this case will not be the last one. Azerbaijan will take repressive measures more frequently due to the new waves of protest in the country amid the deepening socio-economic issues.

To note, Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli went missing in Tbilisi on May 29 and a day later he was reported to be in a detention facility in Baku. Number of international watchdogs that later reacted to what appeared to be a case of abduction, called for immediate and unconditional release of the journalist, citing risks of torture and other ill-treatment in a detention facility in Baku, persecuting Mukhtarli solely for his work as a journalist.
 



Source Panorama.am
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