The alleged abduction and illegal arbitrary detention of Azerbaijani nationals, including human rights defenders, residing in Georgia followed by their arrest and prosecution in Azerbaijan, demands swift, thorough and transparent investigation, Maja Kocijančič, the spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, said in a statement on June 4.
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.
“We welcome the launch of such an investigation in Georgia as announced by its leadership,” the statement reads.
“A review by Azerbaijan of any and all cases of incarceration related to the exercise of fundamental rights, including the freedom of expression, and immediate release all of those concerned is urgent, in line with Azerbaijan’s international commitments,” it said.
The European Union expressed hope that “the due process of law is respected, as well as the civil and political rights of citizens and those residing legally in states other than their own,” adding that “it will continue to follow these cases closely.”