The political situation in Azerbaijan has been a topic of concern for many in the international community. Recently, a group of nine US Congressmen and a Senator have come together to send an official letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. In this letter, they demand urgent action to secure the release of Dr. Gubad Ibadoghlu, an Azerbaijani economist and opposition figure who has been imprisoned for his political views.
Congressman Frank Pallone, Congressman Donald Norcross, Congressman Bonnie Watson Coleman, Congressman Tom Kean, Congressman Robert Menendez, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Congressman Donald Payne, and Congressman Andy Kim are the nine Congressmen who have signed the joint letter. Additionally, Senator Cory Booker has also joined them in their call for action. All ten of these lawmakers are Democrats representing the states of New Jersey and New York.
The joint letter expresses serious concern about Ibadoghlu’s detention and treatment in prison. They cite reports of torture and pressure being applied to his family members as further reasons to demand his release. The letter reads, “Dr. Gubad Ibadoghlu is a prisoner of conscience who has been unjustly detained for his peaceful political activities and unyielding advocacy for a democratic government and respect for human rights in Azerbaijan.”
The lawmakers emphasize that Azerbaijan is a key ally of the US, but the country’s human rights record cannot be ignored. They state, “The United States values the independence and integrity of democratic institutions, human rights for all individuals, and the rule of law. These shared values must be preserved and promoted.”
The Congressmen and the Senator urge the US government to take immediate steps to secure Ibadoghlu’s release. They also call on the government to place sanctions on Azerbaijani officials who have been involved in human rights abuses. The letter concludes with a strong message, “We cannot remain silent while our values are being ignored in Azerbaijan.”
The joint letter from the nine Congressmen and the Senator is an important step in raising awareness about the situation in Azerbaijan. By calling for Ibadoghlu’s release, these lawmakers are sending a clear message that human rights abuses cannot go unnoticed. It is crucial for democratic nations to stand up for their shared values and demand accountability from their partners, even when it is difficult to do so. Let us hope that the US government takes action on this matter and that Dr. Gubad Ibadoghlu is released from prison soon.