IRFS Urges Ukraine to Release Fikret Huseynli

Baku / 17.10.17 / Turan: The Institute for Reporters" Freedom and Safety (IRFS) expressed deep concern over the detention of the Azerbaijani opposition journalist Fikret Huseynli in Kiev and urged the Ukrainian authorities to immediately release him.

IRFS considers politically motivated the detention of Huseynli on October 14 by officers of the Ukrainian Border Guard Service on the basis of Interpol's request issued by the Azerbaijani authorities.

"The arrest by the authorities of Ukraine of an Azerbaijani opposition journalist at the request of the Azerbaijani authorities is a serious blow to the common European values ​​for the protection of freedom of expression, which Ukraine committed itself to within the framework of membership in the Council of Europe and the OSCE," IRFS Executive Director Emin Huseynov said.

Ukraine should stop the practice of arresting journalists living in exile and immediately release Fikret Huseynli and the Uzbek journalist Narzullo Ohundzhenov, also detained in Ukraine.

IRFS calls on the authorities of the Netherlands, whose citizen Fikrat Huseynli is from 2015, to provide all possible assistance in his early release, as well as raise the issue in the European Council.

The statement calls on the European Parliament to reconsider the situation with freedom of expression in Azerbaijan, as it was earlier after the abduction in Georgia and the illegal extradition of the investigative journalist Afgan Mukhtarly to Azerbaijan.

IRFS urged the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the European Union not to grant authoritarian regimes the possibility of abusing international legal mechanisms for arrests of dissidents who are forced to live in political exile.

In the light of the increasing abuse of the persecution of critics by means of the Interpol mechanisms, IRFS called on the international community to urgently reform Interpol in order to exclude the use of this international organization as a transnational instrument of political struggle.

IRFS urged the Azerbaijani authorities to stop the harassment of journalists and release imprisoned journalists, bloggers, writers, and civil activists from prisons. -0-

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