02:21, Tuesday, 19.02.2019
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Azerbaijani Bar Association Suspended Advocacy License of Afgan Mukhtarli’s Lawyer for One Year


Human Rights House Tbilisi and its member organizations echo the decision of the Azerbaijani Bar Association [ABA] to suspend advocacy license of Afgan Mukhtarli’s lawyer Nemat Kemirli for one year and state that it is another vivid violation of Afgan Mukhtarli’s rights alongside the restricted professional activities of the advocate.

On April 23, 2018, based on the complaint of the first deputy of the Chief Prosecutor of Azerbaijan, the ABA suspended the advocacy license of Nemat Kemirli, the advocate of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli, for one year. It happened one day before the court hearing into Afgan Mukhtarli’s case, who was kidnapped in Georgia and then arrested in Azerbaijan. 

The deputy chief prosecutor clarified that the suspension of the advocacy activities resulted from the fact that “in his interviews with media, Afgan Mukhtarli’s advocate tried to politicize the criminal case and to mislead the society in order to influence witnesses through violating the legislation.”

The Azerbaijani Bar Association studied the two interviews of Nemat Kerimrli with media.

In his first interview the advocate spoke about kidnapping Afgan Mukhtarli on May 30, 2017 and underlined that in Azerbaijan the journalist’s life was under risk and consequently, the Government of Georgia should not have assigned him to Azerbaijani side.

In his second interview the lawyer spoke about the surveillance during his meeting with Afgan in the detention setting, which he protested saying “even the most authoritarian regimes could not implement surveillance of the lawyer so obviously when he is communicating the client.”

These interviews became the ground for suspending advocacy license of Nemat Kerimli. 

HRHT and its member organizations believe the decision of the ABA, on the one hand, violates the rights of the advocate and interferes in and restricts the professional activities, as well as freedom of speech of Nemat Kemirli, and on the other hand violates Afgan Mukhtarli’s right to defense, as he no longer has possibility to enjoy the service of his advocate. It is violation of one of the fundamental human rights – right to fair trial.

Suspending the advocacy activities of Afgan Mukhtarli’s lawyer based on the request of the local prosecutor’s office because of his opinions about Afgan’s case, once again demonstrates that the criminal case against Afgan Mukhtarli is not free from political influence and presumed violation of his rights in Georgia or in Azerbaijan has systemic character.

HRHT member organization Article 42 of the Constitution represents Afgan Mukhtarli’s interests in Georgia and in front of the European Court of Human Rights. 

HRHT unifies five nongovernmental organizations in Georgia:

  • Human Rights Center
  • Article 42 of the Constitution
  • Media Institute
  • Safari
  • Georgian Center for the Medical and Psycho-Social Rehabilitation of Torture Victims 

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