Friday Wrap-up: action for Ibadoglu, a prison term extended and list of political prisoners

Illustration: Meydan TV

This week saw actions for the release of Gubad Ibadoglu at the UN, prison term for civil society actor extended, and the soaring number of political prisoners in Azerbaijan.

Calls for release of Gubad Ibadoglu during the UN Action at Bonn Climate Conference

The family of the political prisoner Gubad Ibadoglu has appealed to the UN for intervention, urging them to conclude negotiations at the Bonn Climate Change Conference. This appeal, alongside images of Ibadoglu at the conference, has increased pressure on the COP29 event to address his imprisonment. Campaigners at the Bonn talks highlighted human rights abuses in Azerbaijan, criticizing the crackdown on Ibadoglu and the treatment of regime critics under President Aliyev.

Dr. Ibadoglu’s daughter, Jala Bayramova, condemned Azerbaijan’s praise as climate leaders at the Bonn conference, pointing out the regime’s imprisonment of her father and other political prisoners. She emphasized the urgent need for medical care for Ibadoglu, who requires emergency heart surgery and called on the UN to pressure the Azerbaijani government to release him.

The Global Witness organization supported the campaign by projecting Ibadoglu’s image at the Bonn conference and filing a complaint against Mukhtar Babayev, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Ecology and President of COP29. The complaint alleges that Babayev’s role in the regime that detains Ibadoglu violates the UN climate agreement.

Prison term of Imran Aliyev extended

Imran Aliyev, head of the “” website, had his detention period extended following a June 13 hearing at Khatai District Court. The prosecutor argued for the extension during the ongoing investigation, asserting that Aliyev’s release could impede the process by potentially influencing witnesses and contacting other involved parties. Despite objections from Aliyev and his lawyer, who claimed the smuggling charges were baseless and that Aliyev posed no flight risk, the judge granted the prosecutor’s request, prolonging the detention by 2 months and 7 days.

Aliyev’s lawyer, Ganga Ibrahimov, argued that his client’s place of residence is known and that there is no intention of evading the investigation. Ibrahimov maintained that the charges against Aliyev were unfounded and that continuing the investigation without detention would be fairer. However, the court sided with the prosecutor, agreeing that Aliyev’s detention was necessary to ensure the integrity of the investigation.

Imran Aliyev was originally detained on April 18 at Baku airport while en route to Turkey. As the head of “,” Aliyev’s work involved monitoring the Azerbaijani parliament and deputies, which may have contributed to the charges he now faces.

303 political prisoners identified in Azerbaijan

On June 14, the Union for the Freedom of Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan released an updated list identifying 303 individuals as political prisoners, marking an increase of 16 people compared to the previous list from March 18.

The organization noted that economist Gubad Ibadoglu was the only person removed from the list in the past three months due to changes in his arrest warrant. The new additions include prominent figures such as human rights defender Anar Mammadli, journalist Imran Aliyev, economist Farid Mehralizade, and members of various political and social groups.

The Union categorized the 303 political prisoners into eight groups, highlighting journalists, bloggers, human rights defenders, opposition party members, political immigrants, and religious activists among them. They emphasized the diversity within the list, encompassing individuals convicted in various cases across Azerbaijan, including those from Ganja and Tartar cases, and life prisoners. The compilation of the list was led by Leyla Yunus and Elshan Hasanov, former prisoners of conscience actively involved in human rights advocacy in Azerbaijan.

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