Layla Mustafayeva

Layla Mustafayeva. (Facebook.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–The exiled wife of jailed Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli says she fears there may be a new wave of harassment against herself and other critics of the regime of Ilham Aliyev.

Mukhtarli was abducted in downtown Tbilisi on May 31 and taken across the border to Baku to face a political trial.

Now his wife, also a journalist critical of Azerbaijan’s authoritarian president Ilham Aliyev, points to the risk that yet more countermeasures may be taken by the regime.

At a press conference in Tbilisi on Friday, Layla Mustafayeva presented audio recordings and photos showing how she has constantly been under illegal surveillance by unknown men.

Mustafayeva said Dashgin Aghalarli, another Azerbaijani opposition activist, is also under surveillance, and complained of inactivity by Georgian law enforcement in face of this activity.

Aghalarli and Mustafayeva’s lawyer were also present at the press conference.

Similar surveillance was conducted against Afgan Mukhtarli prior to his abduction, she added.

“This is a restriction of freedom of movement. If I walk outside, I’m always looking around [to see] whether somebody is following me. It’s still going on. Several days ago, I noticed these people in the vicinity of Freedom Square. Unfortunately, the identity of these persons has not yet been established. Neither the police nor the Prosecutor’s Office have taken any action,” Layla Mustafayeva said, adding that she doubts that Socar security service members are involved in these activities. Socar is an Azerbaijani oil company operating in Georgia.