US closely monitoring arrest of Azerbaijani politician
Case of Gubad Ibadoglu
The United States said it was closely following the arrest in Azerbaijan of opposition politician, scientist and economist Gubad Ibadoglu. Brother Ibadoglu said that the prosecutor’s office intends to complain about his lawyer to the Bar Association in order to leave the politician without protection. Representatives of civil society created the Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Gubad Ibadoglu.
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“We call on Azerbaijan to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens”
“We are closely following the arrest of Gubad Ibadoglu. The United States remains firmly committed to advancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said at a daily press briefing.
“We call on Azerbaijan to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens, including Gubad Ibadoglu, in accordance with Azerbaijan’s own constitution and international obligations,” Miller quoted Turan as saying.
The US Embassy in Azerbaijan also said that they are closely monitoring the situation with the arrest of opposition politician Gubad Ibadoglu, and issued a similar statement.
On July 24, Gubad Ibadoglu, chairman of the Azerbaijan Democracy and Prosperity Party, received 4 months of preliminary arrest on charges of counterfeiting money after police said counterfeit banknotes worth $40,000 were found in his abandoned apartment in Baku.
The Azerbaijani government also accused him of links to FETÖ, an organization designated as a terrorist organization in Turkey led by Fethullah Gülen, a preacher living in the United States.
“The prosecutor’s office intends to complain about his lawyer”
Ibadoglu’s brother, Galib Bayramov, said the prosecutor’s office plans to file a complaint against Zibeyda Sadigova, the politician’s lawyer, with the Bar Association.
“Allegedly, Zibeyda Sadigova revealed the secret of the investigation. They want to leave Gubad without protection, so we have increased the number of lawyers,” Bayramov said.
He also noted that the Baku SIZO-1 did not accept the transfer and clothes intended for Gubad Ibadoglu, saying that his name “is not in the system.”
Representatives of civil society created the Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Gubad Ibadoglu. At a meeting on the creation of the committee, the head of the Institute of Political Management, Azer Gasimly, said that such arrests would continue, because the regime was moving “from authoritarianism to totalitarianism.”
“The arrest of Gubad Ibadoglu is connected not only with his critical speeches, the fact that he is the chairman of the party, and the creation of a fund for students by him. The authorities are preparing for new repressions, and have begun to eliminate activists and opposition politicians. Society and the opposition must be ready for this,” Gasimli said.
Statement of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum
The Azerbaijan National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum strongly condemned the arrest of Gubad Ibadoglu. The National Platform demands his immediate release.
Gubad Ibadoglu is a current member and former national coordinator of the platform from 2012 to 2014.
The platform also expresses its outrage at the use of force and inhumane treatment of Gubad Ibadoglu and his wife Irada Bayramova during their detention by officers of the main department for combating organized crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. They call on the government to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the case.
According to the National Platform, the arrest of Gubad Ibadoglu is related to his political activities, including criticism of the government’s economic policies.
The platform notes that the political situation in Azerbaijan has deteriorated since the entry into force of the new law on political parties on January 11, 2023. This has led to significant restrictions and pressure on political parties, leading to the cessation of many of their activities.
In light of these developments, the National Platform calls on the Azerbaijani government to stop the unjust persecution of political activists and immediately release Gubad Ibadoglu.
Finally, the platform calls on the European political community to support the development of an inclusive political environment for civil society and political parties in Azerbaijan. This support is seen as essential to upholding the principles of democracy, freedom of expression and human rights in the country.