Statement by U.S. Department of State: On the Sentencing of Afgan Mukhtarli

The United States is disturbed by the January 12 sentencing of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli to a six-year prison term.  Mr. Mukhtarli was reportedly abducted in Georgia on May 30 and subsequently arrested in Azerbaijan on smuggling and related charges, widely considered to be politically motivated.
We urge the government of Azerbaijan to release Mr. Mukhtarli and all those incarcerated for exercising their fundamental freedoms.
We continue to closely follow the Georgian investigation into the reported abduction, and reiterate our call that it be full, transparent, and timely.