Vugar Ali, brother of activist and musician Jamal Ali, cannot leave Azerbaijan.
Vugar Ali was detained on 24 May at Baku’s international airport as he attempted to travel abroad. He was informed that he was not allowed to leave the country because the Ministry of Internal Affairs had placed him under a travel ban, but the reason for the ban has been left unexplained.
“Since that day, I haven’t been able to get any information from the Ministry of Internal Affairs,” Ali told Meydan TV. “In April I returned [to Azerbaijan]. There was no problem then. In May I even renewed my passport. No one said anything then either. Over a month has passed [since being detained at the airport]. I was told, that I would receive information after 15 working days, but I haven’t. I wrote to the Prosecutor General and the State Border Service, and they responded saying it has nothing to do with them. The Ministry of Internal Affairs just says, ‘Be patient.’”
Vugar Ali says that the travel ban may be a technical problem. He had previously been under a travel ban because of his brother, but later that ban was lifted. “Maybe when I renewed my passport the old ban was activated in the system. I don’t know,” Ali says.
Meydan TV was unable to reach the Ministry of Internal Affairs for comment.
Vugar Ali’s brother, Jamal Ali, was a member of the group H.O.S.T until 2008. On 17 March 2012 Jamal Ali was arrested after performing at an anti-government demonstration. Upon his release, Jamal Ali left Azerbaijan and currently resides in Berlin.