UA Banker

UA Banker

Baku / 05.07.17 / Turan: After the story of the kidnapping of the journalist Afgan Mukhtarly from the territory of Georgia and his secret transfer to Azerbaijan, the opinion that freedom and even the life of political emigrants is in danger prevails.

True, the arrest of Mukhtarly actually "saved" another political refugee in Tbilisi, Dashgin Agalarly, who had been denied refuge for several years and had to be sent back to his homeland for no apparent reason. According to some reports, even the UN has not interfered in the matter. However, after the scandal with Afgan Mukhtarly, Agalarly was left in Georgia.

However, apparently, the Azerbaijani authorities did not calm down. This was confirmed by news about the demand of Arif and Leila Yunus, the human rights defenders, to be forced into the Supreme Court (the couple Yunus was arrested in 2014 and after their conditional release they left abroad, where they continue active work), as well as the search for the former representative of Azerbaijan at the local level Council of Europe Arif Mammadov. The file on Mammadov indicates that he is wanted on the charge provided for in Article 179.3.2 (embezzlement or misappropriation in a large amount) of the Criminal Code. Previously, he was wanted via the Interpol.

Usually, democratic countries do not extradite a person to a country where he is threatened with torture and political persecution. However, the tradition was violated by the "Mukhtarly case"; the man was openly stolen in Georgia, severely beaten and arrested on three articles of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan. There are very few people in the country who doubt that the abduction of Mukhtarly became a revenge for his active work, as well as an act of intimidation of other active emigrants. There is no doubt that the authorities would have the emigrated opponents of the regime arrested, if they could.

And they will not only arrest them. Recently the journalist, head of Azerbaijan Saati Ganimat Zahid, who lives in France, said the long hands of the authorities are drawn to his throat, and he informed the public that an order for his murder was received. And, according to him, the murder would be carried out so that no one suspected that.

Is extradition of unwanted political emigrants possible by European countries?

The human rights activist Oktay Gulaliyev believes the authorities implement a policy of kidnapping. "Their activity in search and delivery of political emigrants to the country has intensified," he told Turan.

The human rights activist noted that Azerbaijan itself extradites political emigrants. For example, Turkey was recently extradited a person who was granted asylum by the UN: "As for the search for undesirable emigrants, it is part of the repression by the authorities. The Azerbaijani authorities, increasingly losing support, both in the country and at the international level, see a way out in intimidation and repression. Therefore, they resort to similar methods. The incident with Afgan Mukhtarly has done much harm to the authorities and their image. I do not think that after this they will take another similar step in the near future. However, it is obvious that the authorities are persistent in their intention to silence critics both inside the country and beyond, and once the opportunity arises, they will again take certain steps. Most likely, this is aimed at holding the presidential elections of 2018 in a non-alternative situation."

Gulaliyev believes that European states are unlikely to extradite prominent political emigrants. "The authorities understand this, and therefore they resorted to the abduction of Afgan Mukhtarly. It is not ruled out that this can happen again," Gulaliyev said.--0--

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