• Urgent Action


August 28, 2023

Gubad Ibadoghlu, a renowned political economist and civil activist, was detained on July 23rd, 2023 on fabricated charges of the production, acquisition, or sale of counterfeit money by an organized group. His arrest and prosecution are an apparent retaliation for his criticism of the government and political and civic activities, including helping set up a foundation that sought funding from foreign assets seized from Azerbaijani nationals abroad under anti-corruption legislation to benefit Azerbaijani students. Gubad Ibadoghlu has major health issues, and while in pretrial detention his life is at risk due to unsafe prison conditions and denial of adequate healthcare.


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    President Ilham Aliyev
    Office of the President of Azerbaijan
    19 Istiqlaliyyat Street
    Baku AZ10066, Azerbaijan
    Twitter: [email protected]

    Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim
    Embassy of Azerbaijan
     2741 34th St NW, Washington, DC 20008
    Phone: (202) 337-3500
    Email: [email protected]


    Dear President Aliyev,

    I am writing to demand an immediate release of Gubad Ibadoghlu, who is being held in the Kurdekhani pretrial detention center on fabricated charges of tendering counterfeit money. You will, undoubtedly, be aware of his prominent academic and political activities and government criticism. His detention and prosecution are apparent retaliation for these activities. He must be immediately released.

    On July 23rd, Gubad Ibadoghlu and his wife, Irada Bayramova, were arbitrarily detained after plain-clothed police officers in unmarked vehicles rammed their car. The police officers reportedly assaulted the couple, placed them in separate holding cells and refused to provide reasons for their arrest. Gubad Ibadoghlu was denied access to his lawyer until 5pm and Irada Bayramova was denied access to a lawyer of her choosing. While Irada Bayramova was later released without charges, Gubad Ibadoghlu was remanded in detention by Baku’s Narimanov District Court on July 24th, on charges of the production, acquisition, or sale of counterfeit money by an organized group (Article 204.3.1 of the Azerbaijan Criminal Code, carries a maximum 12-year prison term).

    Gubad Ibadoghlu is suffering from serious health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. He is held in conditions that may amount to inhuman and degrading treatment, is forced to rely on poor-quality drinking water and food, and is not receiving correct medication at the right times. According to his family, his health has continually and significantly deteriorated in detention.

    I urge you to take steps that will ensure Gubad Ibadoghlu’s immediate and unconditional release. I also urge you to immediately ensure that he is provided with the correct medication, food and water, and is protected from torture and other ill-treatment. Allegations of his and his wife’s, Irada Bayramova’s, ill-treatment during their arrest and in detention and the violations of their due process rights must be promptly and effectively investigated, and all those suspected to be responsible held to account. I also urge you to end the misuse of the criminal justice system to target peaceful criticism and dissent.

    Yours sincerely,