Journalist's Sentence Raises 'Serious Questions' About Human Rights In Azerbaijan
16:15, Monday, 15 January, 2018
The European Union on January 14 denounced the prison sentence handed down to Azerbaijani journalist Afqan Muxtarli, saying it poses “serious questions” regarding the exercise of fundamental rights in the country.
The Balakan District Court sentenced Muxtarli to six years in prison on January 12 after convicting him of smuggling and other crimes in a politically charged trial condemned by rights groups.
Rights groups and Western states have condemned the case as part of long-standing government effort to quash dissent and punish those who question the authorities or seek to expose graft.
In a statement, Maja Kocinjancic, the spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, said on January 14 that the sentence handed down to Muxtarli “poses serious questions as regards the exercise of fundamental rights including the freedom of expression and media and due process of law in Azerbaijan.”