The detention of Gubad Ibadoghlu, an Azerbaijani academic and politician, has caught the attention of the General Rapporteur on Political Prisoners for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Sunna Ævarsdóttir. Mr Ibadoghlu has been detained since July 23, and is facing charges that are believed to be politically motivated. This has raised concern for his health and safety while in detention. In this blog post, we will explore the details of his detention and the call for his immediate release.
Who is Gubad Ibadoghlu?
Gubad Ibadoghlu is an Azerbaijani academic and chair of the Democracy and Welfare Party. He is also an independent economist and a well-known critic of the Azerbaijani government. Recently, he started a foundation for the education of young Azerbaijanis that would be funded by donations and foreign assets confiscated from elites allegedly involved in corruption.
Why was he detained?
Mr Ibadoghlu was violently arrested on July 23 and charged with the production, acquisition or sale of counterfeit money by an organized group. He faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted of these charges. However, there are reasons to believe that the arrest and charges against him are politically motivated, in response to his activism and criticism of the government’s corruption.
What are the conditions of his detention?
Mr Ibadoghlu’s detention is worrying, given his health conditions. He has recently undergone heart surgery and suffers from numerous medical conditions. Reports suggest that he does not have access to adequate food and has experienced rapid weight loss. Furthermore, he is allegedly deprived of access to a doctor. These are grave concerns that put his health and life at risk.
What is the call for his release?
The General Rapporteur on Political Prisoners for PACE, Sunna Ævarsdóttir, has called for the immediate release of Mr Ibadoghlu. She expresses her concern that the charges against him are politically motivated and are designed to silence a vocal critic of the government. She also highlights the poor conditions of his detention and the risk it poses to his health and well-being. She urges the Azerbaijani authorities to drop the politically motivated charges and release Mr Ibadoghlu immediately.
The detention of Gubad Ibadoghlu is another example of the repression of independent voices and critics of the Azerbaijani government. It is a violation of his right to free and fair trial, and it puts his health and life at risk. The call for his release by the General Rapporteur on Political Prisoners for PACE is a step in the right direction, and we urge the Azerbaijani government to heed this call and release Mr Ibadoghlu immediately. The international community must also continue to monitor this situation and ensure that Mr Ibadoghlu’s rights are respected.