Disgraced Azerbaijani playwright, former presidential candidate comes home for first time in many years
Azerbaijani screenwriter and director Rustam Ibrahimbekov, who ran for president in 2013, has returned to his homeland for the first time in six years.
He celebrated his 80th birthday with friends and colleagues in a restaurant. Could this mean that Ibrahimbekov has reconciled with the government and is leaving politics?
Who is Rustam Ibrahimbekov?
Rustam Ibrahimbekov is a well-known Azerbaijani and Russian screenwriter and director who has won numerous awards.
He has in recent years become an opposition politician.
He ran in the 2013 presidential elections as an opposition candidate, but was unable to register as he could not prove that he had renounced his Russian citizenship in time.
Since then he has lived in Russia and has not visited Azerbaijan.
He has continued to criticize the authorities and was considered a persona non grata in the country. Although he was not outrightly persecuted by the Azerbaijani authorities, Ibrahimbekov occasionally been harassed via the press.
He has been accused of being ‘sympathetic to the Armenians’ and for ‘practically betraying the motherland’ for the film Caucasian Trio, which was based on his script.
What is remarkable about Ibrahimbekov’s arrival in the country?
Rustam Ibrahimbekov’s visit to Baku was perceived by many as an act of reconciliation between him and the government of the country.
Musavat.com suggested that Rustam Ibrahimbekov intends to leave politics, pointing out that at his birthday party, there was nobody from the opposition.
Among his guests were many art aficionados with whom Ibrahimbekov had recently been “on opposite sides of the barricade”.