European Liberals meeting at the ALDE Party Council in Ljubljana on 3 June strongly condemned the abduction of independent journalist and human rights defender Afgan Mukhtarli, who had found refuge from persecution of the Azerbaijani government in Georgia, but was kidnapped from Tbilisi and brought to Azerbaijan on 29 May. Further background to the story can be found here and here.
The ALDE Party reiterated its full support to ALDE’s Azeri member party Musavat and its leader Arif Hajili that operates under the most difficult circumstances and bravely fights against a harsh authoritarian system to uphold liberal values in one of Europe’s most oppressive regimes.
Georgian Liberals from the Free Democrats and Republican Party stated concerns over the role of Georgian authorities in this abduction from Georgian territory and demand an investigation. See their joint statement here.
Commenting on the statement, ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen MEP said: "European Liberals support their members in Georgia to demand full clarity over the circumstances of this kidnapping and continue to stand by Liberals in Azerbaijan and ask the European Union to exercise pressure upon the Azeri regime to immediately release Afgan Mukhtarli and other political prisoners."