New developments in the case against Gubad Ibadoglu: allegations of religious extremism

Illustration: Meydan.TV

Recent revelations shed light on the charges of “religious extremist materials” levied against Gubad Ibadoglu, the incarcerated leader of the Azerbaijan Democracy and Welfare Party (ADR) and a professor.

The accusations stem from the alleged discovery of PDF versions of approximately 50 books authored by Fethullah Gülen. These materials were reportedly found on two computers seized during searches conducted on June 23 at Ibadoglu’s office and on June 26 at his residence, where he was subsequently apprehended. Galib Bayramov, the brother of the ADR chairman, has dismissed these claims as baseless.

Bayramov contends that the computer found in Ibadoglu’s office was not associated with his brother and had never been utilized by him. According to Bayramov, the computer in question actually belongs to him. He stated, “The computers in the office have nothing to do with Gubad Ibadoglu and ADR. Those computers belong to me. My brother never worked on those computers.”

Regarding the computer seized from Ibadoglu’s residence, his brother asserts that it has remained inactive for the past decade. Bayramov noted, “The scale of lies, slander, and evil is unimaginably great. The charge of religious extremism, like the charge of minting counterfeit money, is absurd to the extent that it is out of hand…”

On August 25, Ibadoglu protested by refusing to sign documents when authorities introduced a new charge against him under Article 167-3.1 of the Criminal Code, which pertains to the preparation, storage, and distribution of religious extremist materials. Simultaneously, the economist declined to provide testimony, deeming the accusation as nonsensical.

Family members visited Gubad Ibadoglu at the Baku Detention Center on August 26. Despite having a scheduled 4-hour meeting, their interaction was disrupted within 30 minutes, prompting a premature end to the visit.

Health concerns for ADR’s chairman remain a concern. Notably, there have been observable changes in his thyroid gland, and indications of nervous system disorders have surfaced. Furthermore, his blood pressure, sugar levels, and heart rate have not yet normalized. The continuous illumination of his cells at night has hindered his ability to sleep properly, leading to chronic fatigue and daytime headaches. This situation has raised concerns about potential physical torture.

Gubad Ibadoglu was taken into custody on July 23 and charged under Article 204.3.1 of the Criminal Code, which relates to counterfeit money-related offenses conducted by an organized group. The following day, the Narimanov District Court ordered a detention period of 3 months and 26 days for preliminary investigation.

Ibadoglu is accused of conspiring with four others, who were initially disclosed in Turkish media on July 23. These individuals, alleged to be associated with the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), face the same charges as Ibadoglu under Article 204.3.1 of the Criminal Code. The individuals in question are Doyrush Jafarov, Gumrah Abdurakhmanov, Ruslan Aliyev, and Anar Aliyev.

Regarding the $40,000 found in Ibadoglu’s office at the time of his arrest, it’s claimed that a portion of the money was counterfeit. However, Ibadoglu firmly denies any connection to the money.

Ibadoglu further claims that President Ilham Aliyev ordered his arrest while he was being removed from the location after the search.

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