Merim Beyshekeeva: ‘My child was stolen’

In 2015 in Dubai, Merim Beyshekeeva, a citizen of Kyrgyzstan, filed for a divorce from her husband of five years, Azerbaijani citizen Davud Baghirov. While the divorce proceedings were still ongoing, Baghirov kidnapped the couple’s three-year-old daughter, Jeyla, and took her to Azerbaijan via Turkey. Dubai’s Supreme Court has ruled that the child should be returned to her mother, a decision which was upheld by the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan, and yet Baghirov and his family still refuse to return Jeyla or even let Beyshekeeva see her.

Jeyla was born in America and is therefore an American citizen. According to Bayshekeeva, when Baghirov applied for a visa for the child at the Azerbaijani consulate in Dubai, he was refused. How is it that Baghirov was able to bring a child with American citizenship to Azerbaijan without a visa and without the permission of the mother? And how have he and his family been able to ignore the rulings of the Dubai and Azerbaijani supreme courts and hide the child from Beyshekeeva?

According to Beyshekeeva’s lawyer, Abdulla Afandizadeh, Davud Baghirov’s sister, Jamila Baghirova, is head of the Department of Children’s Issues within the State Committee for Family, Women, and Children’s Affairs. Afandizadeh alleges that when Baghirov flew with Jeyla to Istanbul and then Baku, he was accompanied by his influential sister.

Beyshekeeva told Meydan TV that Jamila Baghirova once said to her, “Do whatever you want. You won’t see the child.”

A Dubai court has charged Davud Baghirov with kidnapping.

The head of the Information Department of the State Committee on Family, Women and Children’s Affairs, Elgun Safarov, said that Jamila Baghirova has not been charged with a crime by any court.

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