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Gubad Ibadoghlu released to house arrest

22 April 2024
Gubad Ibadoghlu (centre) with two of his lawyers, Bahruz Bayramov and Zibeyda Sadigova upon his release.

Imprisoned Azerbaijani economist and political activist Gubad Ibadoghlu has been released to house arrest, as his health has reportedly continued to deteriorate.

According to pro-government news agency APA, the Narimanov District Court took the decision on Monday afternoon.

Ibadoghlu is a prominent government critic and anti-corruption campaigner and is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics.

Ibadoghlu suffers from a number of serious health issues, including diabetes and a heart condition. According to his family, his health had severely deteriorated in recent weeks and months, as he was not receiving adequate healthcare. 

His daughter, Zhala Bayramova, earlier warned his condition could soon become critical if he was not given access to the necessary healthcare.

Ibadoghlu was arrested on 23 July 2023 as part of what the authorities said was an investigation into supporters of exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom Turkey blames for an attempted coup in 2016. 

He has remained in pre-trial arrest since.

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He was initially charged with the production, acquisition, or sale of counterfeit money or securities committed by an organised group. Later, he was charged with the preparation, storage, or distribution of religious extremist materials.

A number of his associates have also faced pressure from the authorities.

The charges against Ibadoghlu were widely considered by local and international rights groups to have been politically motivated, with Amnesty International insisting he was detained on ‘fabricated charges in an apparent retaliation for his criticism of the government’.

Ibadoghlu has lived mainly in exile since 2014, when the government froze his accounts along with the Economic Research Centre, an NGO he founded.

Read in Georgian on On.ge.