Azerbaijan news

Family of Azerbaijani Political Prisoner Dr. Gubad Ibadoglu Urges UN Action at Bonn Climate Meetings

The family of Dr. Gubad Ibadoglu, an Azerbaijani political prisoner, has called on the United Nations to intervene during the international climate talks in Bonn, which are a precursor to the COP29 summit. Campaigners are drawing attention to the mistreatment of the well-known economist, who has been a vocal critic of Azerbaijan’s fossil fuel industry.

Dr. Ibadoglu, a senior researcher at the London School of Economics, was arrested last summer while in Azerbaijan on what are widely regarded as false charges. He remains under house arrest in Baku, facing severe health issues and lacking adequate medical care.

Jala Bayramova, Dr. Ibadoglu’s daughter, attended the Bonn meetings and expressed her outrage: “It is disgusting to see that during the period when my father and many other political prisoners are imprisoned by the Aliyev dictatorship, Azerbaijan is praised as a climate leader in the Bonn negotiations. My father is being punished for his activism and his research into oil and gas revenues, environmental impacts, and corruption. He needs urgent heart surgery and is being deprived of medical care even under house arrest. The UN must put pressure on the Azerbaijani regime to liberate my father and preserve the legitimacy of the international climate process.”

During the talks, Global Witness projected images of Dr. Ibadoglu in front of representatives and on prominent buildings at the Bonn conference, urging the Azerbaijani government to release him.

Global Witness also filed an official complaint against Azerbaijan’s Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, Mukhtar Babayev, who is the President of COP29. The complaint alleges that Babayev is violating the UN Climate Agreement by representing a regime that continues to detain Dr. Ibadoglu.

Dr. Ibadoglu’s arrest followed his publication of articles criticizing Azerbaijan’s oil and gas policies and his involvement in creating a charitable foundation aimed at returning stolen state wealth to the Azerbaijani people. He faces up to 17 years in prison.

While imprisoned, Dr. Ibadoglu has been denied essential medical assistance, which is critical given his diabetes and high blood pressure. His health continues to deteriorate. Since being placed under house arrest in April, the Azerbaijani authorities have continued to restrict his access to necessary medical care.

Dr. Ibadoglu’s family, along with a coalition of civil society groups, is calling for his immediate and unconditional release, as well as the release of other political prisoners in Azerbaijan.

Major foreign investors in Azerbaijan’s fossil fuel sector include BP and TotalEnergies, which recently inaugurated a new gas field in the Caspian Sea. In April, Ibad Bayramov, Dr. Ibadoglu’s son, wrote letters to both companies urging them to advocate for his father’s release. However, there has been no response from the companies to date.


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