Azerbaijan: Authorities must immediately release prominent scholar Gubad Ibadoghlu

Responding to news that the poor health of Azerbaijani scholar and political activist Gubad Ibadoghlu is severely deteriorating during his unlawful detention, Natalia Nozadze, Researcher for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International, said:

“Gubad Ibadoughlu’s arrest on fabricated charges is yet another example of the Azerbaijani authorities’ misuse of the criminal justice system to target peaceful criticism and dissent. His treatment while in detention adds insult to injury. Gubad must be immediately and unconditionally released and those responsible for any ill-treatment he suffered, held to account.

Relatives of the scholar and activist, who suffers from diabetes and heart problems, told Amnesty International that his health has deteriorated significantly since he was first detained in July. They said they are deeply concerned that the denial of timely access to essential care and medication could be causing irreparable damage to his health. “Until his release, authorities must ensure Gubad has access to the best medical care possible, failure to do so may constitute torture or other ill-treatment.”  

Background

Gubad Ibadoghlu fled Azerbaijan in 2017 but returned in 2023. On 23 July he was arbitrarily detained along with his wife, Irada Bayramova,(who was later released) as they were driving to meet youth activists from the Azerbaijan Democracy and Prosperity Movement. According to the couple’s daughter, 20 plain-clothed police officers rammed their car, physically assaulted them, forced them into separate vehicles and then placed them in separate cells. The police officers never provided them with a reason for the arrest.

The denial of his fair trial rights, including access to a lawyer of his choice, the possibility of talking to his legal representative in private, as well as the disciplinary threats and harassment against his lawyer, underscore the political motivation behind Gubad Ibadoghlu’s detention and raise fundamental concerns about due process and the integrity of the legal proceedings against him.

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