• Urgent Action

Urgent Action: FREE PROMINENT OPPOSITION LEADER (Azerbaijan 38.20)

June 4, 2024

On December 14, 2023, the Azerbaijani authorities arrested a prominent opposition figure and unrelenting government critic, Tofig Yagublu, on spurious forgery and fraud charges. A wave of arrests in Azerbaijan that has been targeting independent journalists has now come for one of the country’s most vocal opposition leaders. On December 15, a court placed Tofig Yagublu in pre-trial detention for four months, which has been extended since. He denies all charges, and he is being targeted because of his opposition activities.


take action:

  • Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  • Click here to let us know the actions you took on Third Urgent Action 38.20. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

contact information:

President of Azerbaijan

Ilham Aliyev

Office of the President of Azerbaijan

19 Istiqlaliyyat Street

Baku AZ1066, Azerbaijan

Email: [email protected]

Embassy of Azerbaijan in the United States

Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim

2741 34th St

NW, Washington, DC 20008

Email: [email protected]


[email protected]

Salutation: Your Excellency

sample letter:

Dear President / Your Excellency,

I am writing to draw your attention to prosecution of Tofig Yagublu, a prominent opposition figure, former journalist, and outspoken government critic in Azerbaijan.

On December 14, 2023, police arrested Tofig Yagublu as he was exiting the metro in central Baku. They later claimed to have found 5,000 euros, 2,500 manats, and an unspecified number of US dollars in his family’s home. According to his daughter, Nigar Hazi, the money had been planted by authorities. Tofig Yaqublu was charged with fraud (Article 178.3.2 of the Criminal Code), forgery of a document (Article 320.1), and use of counterfeit documents (Article 320.2).

On December 15, 2023, the Narimanov District Court of Baku issued an order to hold Yagoblu in pretrial detention for a period of four months, which has been subsequently extended.

This is not the first time Tofig Yagublu has been detained on dubious charges. Tofig Yagublu has been arrested and subjected to ill-treatment for his political activism and criticism of government for more than a decade now.

I urge you to take the necessary steps that will ensure Tofig Yagublu’s immediate and unconditional release. I also urge you to end the misuse of the criminal justice system in Azerbaijan to target criticism and dissent.

Yours sincerely,