Anar Jabbarov, a member of the Muslim Unity Movement was reportedly deported from Turkey last week and detained upon arriving at Baku airport. The Muslim Unity Movement told Meydan TV that he was held at the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Office for Combating Organized Crime, also known as ‘Bandhotel’.
Jabbarov is known to be a loyal supporter of Taleh Bagirzade, the movement's chairman who is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence after being convicted of planning to overthrow the government in Azerbaijan’s high-profile and controversial
A representative of the movement told Meydan TV that Jabbarov was taken to Turkish police after learning about a problem with his residence permit. He was reportedly detained for four days, without being able to speak to his lawyer. He was brought to the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Istanbul twice and expected to be released soon, but according to his lawyer, he disappeared shortly after.
Members of the Muslim Union Movement say that Turkish officials handed Jabbarov over to the Azerbaijani Consulate, which sent him back to Baku where he was swiftly arrested and brought to the Bandhotel.
Due to the Novruz holidays, it was not possible to reach the Ministry of Internal Affairs to clarify Jabbarov’s whereabouts.
His case comes after Turkey detained famous journalist Rauf Mirgadirov and former member of parliament Huseyn Abdullayev and handed them over to Azerbaijan. Both men had fled the country fearing the consequences of their criticism of the Azerbaijani government. Human Rights Watch has called Turkey's deportation of Mirgadirov and his immediate arrest "a coordinated operation that violates international law."
The Azerbaijani government, in turn, has detained Turkish citizens who are said to be supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Islamic scholar and preacher based in the US who Ankara claims is behind the failed coup in July 2016. Although Azerbaijani courts eventually released them, they were later sent to Turkey without any notification of their families and close ones.