MEP Rebecca Harms chairs the 60-member European Parliament Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly. Photo: facebook.com/RebeccaHarmsMEP/
MEP Rebecca Harms, who chairs the 60-member European Parliament Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, told Civil.ge on June 20 that the “forced disappearance” of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli “needs to be investigated and the people involved must be brought to court.”
“The alleged abduction and the imprisonment of Afgan Mukhtarli is a new very alerting case,” she said, adding that the European Parliament members “have asked with a huge majority for the immediate and unconditional release of Afgan Mukhtarli, so he can return to his family in Georgia, as well as for the immediate release of all other political prisoners in Azerbaijan.”
“We also demand an independent investigation of this case not only in Azerbaijan but also in Georgia,” Harms noted. “We are in contact with our colleagues from the Georgian Parliament who are actively following this case and are requesting answers from the executive authorities.”
MEP Harms added that the situation is “worrying,” but the engagement of citizens from Georgia in support of Afgan Mukhtarli “is a good sign.” “Citizens can contribute to strengthen the rule of law and human rights in Georgia.”
The Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, a parliamentary forum to promote political association and further economic integration between the European Union and the Eastern European Partners, gathers 110 lawmakers from the European Parliament and the Eastern Partnership countries.
The Parliamentary Assembly has 60 Members of the European Parliament (who also make up the current European Parliament Delegation) and 10 members from each of the following Eastern Partnership countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.