Afgan Mukhtarli

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Left: Afgan Mukhtarli © Meydan TV / Right: Protesters commemorate one year since the kidnapping of Afgan Mukhtarli. Mukhtarli reported that his abductors kept a bag over his head as they took him to Azerbaijan. © Human Rights House Foundation

AZERBAIJAN / Kidnapped May 29, 2017

“You can arrest or kill us, but others will continue the struggle. Our goal is not to overthrow Ilham Aliyev, but to give people hope.”

Afgan Mukhtarli is a well-known investigative journalist and political activist based in Tbilisi, Georgia, where he had been living in exile to avoid persecution in Azerbaijan. Afgan has contributed to RFE/RL Azeri Service, Meydan TV, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, and Prior to his imprisonment, Afgan was investigating the offshore business of top Azerbaijani officials in Georgia. On May 29, 2017, he was kidnapped in Tbilisi and forcefully taken to Baku where he was put in prison. He is facing fabricated charges of smuggling, illegal border crossing, as well as violently resisting a law enforcement official.