The case of Azerbaijani economist and opposition politician Gubad Ibadoglu has sparked outrage and condemnation from human rights groups and international organizations. Ibadoglu, who is also the chairman of the Democracy and Welfare Party, has been detained since July 24th on charges of making counterfeit money. However, his family and supporters claim that his arrest and detention are politically motivated, aimed at silencing dissent and opposition to the government of President Ilham Aliyev.
The younger brother of Gubad Ibadoglu, Ghalib Togrul, revealed to Turan News that the authorities continue to subject Ibadoglu to intense psychological pressure. According to Togrul, the lights in Ibadoglu’s cell are kept on constantly, causing him to lose sleep and exacerbating his pre-existing medical conditions. The Penitentiary Service has not yet responded to these allegations.
The arrest of Ibadoglu on charges of making counterfeit money has been met with skepticism and criticism from several quarters. The Azerbaijani Interior Ministry alleges that Ibadoglu has links with FETO, the group responsible for the attempted coup in Turkey in 2016. However, Ibadoglu’s family and supporters deny these accusations, claiming that they are baseless and part of a wider campaign by the government to suppress opposition.
Recently, it was revealed that Ibadoglu is facing a new charge of religious extremism, the third accusation against him in just over a month. Ibadoglu’s detention has sparked calls for his immediate release from several international organizations and human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
Gubad Ibadoglu has been an influential figure in Azerbaijani civil society and politics for many years, working closely with various NGOs and serving as an editor and board member for several economic research institutions. He is a renowned economist and academic, having worked at Azerbaijan State Economic University for almost two decades, as well as pursuing teaching and research activities at several universities in Europe and the US.
The circumstances surrounding Ibadoglu’s arrest have been shrouded in mystery and controversy. His wife, Irada Bayramova, was also detained alongside him, but was released after seven hours of interrogation. Bayramova has described the arrest as a traumatic experience, alleging that her husband was subjected to brutality and intimidation during his detention.
The case of Gubad Ibadoglu is yet another example of the Azerbaijani government’s ongoing crackdown on opposition and free speech. His arrest and detention have been met with widespread condemnation and calls for his immediate release, with many alleging that his charges are baseless and politically motivated. The continued psychological pressure on him in detention is a cause for concern and highlights the need for greater scrutiny and accountability from the Azerbaijani authorities.