Lithuanian MPs to Azerbaijan: Be Good to Detained Journalists

Published: 07 June 2017

By Sarunas Cerniauskas

Lithuanian parliament members urged on Wednesday the Azeri government to respect the human rights of two detained journalists and allow international monitors to observe their cases.

The 14 lawmakers referred in the appeal to Afgan Mukhtarli, who has been kidnapped in Georgia and accused of smuggling, crossing the border illegally and violently resisting arrest, and Nicat Amiraslanov, reportedly tortured by the Azeri law enforcement.

The document was initiated by the members of the Lithuanian opposition from the Homeland Union and Liberal Alliance parties.

All of the signatories belong to the official parliamentary group responsible for maintaining parliamentary ties with Azerbaijan.

"Azerbaijan is addressing the principles of international law when it speaks of its territorial integrity. The country itself should respect these principles", Arvydas Anusauskas, one of the initiators of the statement, told OCCRP’s Lithuanian partner

No lawmakers from the biggest ruling party in the country, the Peasants and Greens Union, supported the document. Valerijus Simulik, member of the ruling faction and the chairman of the Azerbaijan group, told he needed more time to revise the document. However, Mantas Adomenas, who was collecting signatures on behalf of the Homeland Union, says it’s not true.

"He said he wouldn’t sign it", Adomenas told

The document with 14 signatures has been sent to the Azeri embassy in Vilnius.