Gubad Ibadoghlu is a renowned political economist and civil activist. On July 23, 2023, the Azerbaijani authorities detained him on fabricated charges of the production, acquisition, or sale of counterfeit money by an organized group. The authorities have then added charges related to “extremism”. His arrest and prosecution are an apparent retaliation for his criticism of the government, as well as his political and civic activities. Most recently these included helping set up a foundation for Azerbaijani students seeking funding from assets seized from Azerbaijani nationals under UK anti-corruption legislation. Gubad Ibadoghlu has major health issues, and while in pretrial detention, his life is at risk.
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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 and of extremism. His detention and prosecution on fabricated charges are retaliation measures for his prominent academic and political activities, and criticism of the government.
Gubad Ibadoghlu and his wife, Irada Bayramova, were arbitrarily detained after plain-clothed police officers in unmarked vehicles rammed their car on July 23, 2023. While Irada Bayramova was later released without charges, Gubad Ibadoghlu was remanded in detention on July 24, 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). Charges of “extremism” were later added. His pretrial detention was extended on November 16 for an extra three months. Gubad Ibadoghlu is suffering from serious health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. 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 ensure that he is provided immediately with the necessary medical care and is protected from torture and other ill-treatment.