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Wife Of Azerbaijani Journalist 'Abducted' In Georgia Flees To Germany

Leyla Mustafayeva (file photo)
Leyla Mustafayeva (file photo)

The wife of an Azerbaijani journalist who had sought refuge in Georgia has left Tbilisi for Germany.

Leyla Mustafayeva told RFE/RL on October 12 that she is currently in Berlin with her four-year-old daughter, Nurayla.

Mustafayeva told RFE/RL that she decided to leave for Germany because she did not feel safe in Georgia anymore.

Afqan Muxtarli and his wife fled to Georgia in 2015, fearing for their safety in connection with his reporting on suspected corruption in President Ilham Aliyev's circle.

Muxtarli disappeared on May 29, and the next day Azerbaijani authorities said he was in custody in Baku on suspicion of illegally crossing the border and smuggling money. Muxtarli's lawyer, Archil Chopikashvili, said his client had been "abducted."

Mustafayeva said that, after her husband's disappearance, she had been stalked for months by various people in Tbilisi, and that the "surveillance" intensified after Azerbaijan's Interior Minister Ramil Usubov visited the Georgian capital in August.

Mustafayeva said Georgian authorities did not take any measures to stop the stalking, although she gave them photos and videos of her stalkers.

Human rights groups and Western governments have called on Baku to release Muxtarli.

European lawmakers passed a resolution in June calling on Azerbaijani authorities to free him immediately and drop all charges against him.