Statement to demand the release of Gubad Ibadoghlu

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We, the undersigned organisations, are deeply concerned about the continued imprisonment of Dr. Gubad Ibadoghlu. We demand that the Government of Azerbaijan immediately release Dr. Ibadoghlu, and call on companies and international institutions with links to Azerbaijan to use their leverage to ensure he is treated humanely and released immediately. 

Dr. Gubad Ibadoghlu is a tireless and dedicated advocate for responsible natural resource governance and accountability in the extractive industries in Azerbaijan, Central Asian countries and globally. He served as a civil society representative to the international board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) from 2013–2019.

Dr. Gubad Ibadoghlu was violently detained on the 23rd of July on fabricated charges of development, acquisition, or sale of large amounts of counterfeit money or securities. On July 24th the court in Azerbaijan remanded him in detention for 3 months and 26 days until his trial. Subsequently, Azerbaijani authorities brought new criminal charges against Dr.  Ibadoghlu, attempting to affiliate him with an extremist religious group.

These charges appear to be nothing more than an attempt to silence a peaceful critic of the Azerbaijani government.

Dr. Gubad Ibadoghlu’s health has deteriorated rapidly over the past 50 days. According to statements from his lawyers, Dr. Ibadoghlu has lost 15 kg since the beginning of detention. Dr. Ibadoghlu has been denied medication and treatment for his diabetes, hypertension, aortic aneurysm and chronic fatigue. Urgent action is required to ensure he doesn’t develop further health issues in prison. Despite this, petitions submitted by his lawyers to change his detention to house arrest where he can be treated and his health monitored have not been accepted. 

The International Committee of the Red Cross has requested to visit Dr. Ibadoghlu, but a meeting still needs to be arranged by authorities. Meanwhile, Dr. Ibadoghlu’s immediate relatives have been banned from leaving the country, even though they have nothing to do with the criminal case opened against him.

There are reports that Dr. Ibadoghlu has faced obstacles in accessing his lawyer and was unable to meet his lawyer in private until the 27th of July, 4 days after his arrest. We understand that disciplinary proceedings were started against Dr. Ibadoghlu’s lawyer, Zibeyda Sadygova, by the Bar Association but these were later dropped.

A free and open civic space – where human rights and the rule of law are respected – is critical to achieving prosperity and development in countries where natural resources are being extracted. A successful and stable business environment also depends on respect for civic freedoms. 

We urge the Government of Azerbaijan to take action to ensure Dr. Gubad Ibadoghlu’s immediate and unconditional release and we call on Azerbaijani authorities to immediately provide Dr. Ibadoghlu with the medication and treatment he needs. We also demand that the rights of Dr. Ibadoghlu, his family and those supporting and representing him are respected and not subjected to reprisal.

We call on international companies with business interests in Azerbaijan (including BP, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Itochu, Inpex, Molgroup, Turkish Petroleum, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and ONGC Videsh and others) and international financial institutions (such as the World Bank, EBRD, IMF and the Asian Development Bank) to use their leverage to push for the release and proper treatment of Dr. Gubad Ibadoghlu, and for the respect of civic freedoms and the rule of law in Azerbaijan.

Signatory organisations:

Multiple Civil Society Organisations Azerbaijan
ACAT Congo Congo
Action de Développement pour le Bien-Être social (ADBES) Togo
Action Mines Guinée Guinea
Actions Pour l’entrepreneuriat et le Développement Niger
Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice(ANEEJ) Nigeria
African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD) Nigeria
Agency for Development and Cooperation Ukraine
Aide, Assistance et Développement Communautaire de Côte d’Ivoire (ADC-CI) Ivory Coast
Arakan Oil Watch Burma
Association de développement sans frontières à tataouine Tunisia
Association Guinéenne pour la transparence -AGT Guinea
Association Mauritanienne pour la promotion de l éducation des filles (AMPEF) Mauritania
Bantay Kita Philippines
Bicitekas Mexico
Brazilian Institute for Social and Economic Analyses (Ibase) Brazil
CartoCrítica Mexico
Centre for Law and Democracy Canada
Centre for Social Change South Africa
Centre for Transparency and freedom of Information Albania
Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo Laboral y Agrario (CEDLA) Bolivia
Coalition Tchad Chad
Comite de solidarite avec les victimes de Violation des Droits Humains en Mauritanie Mauritanie
Comité National d’Observation des Elections – Education des citoyens Madagascar
CooperAcción Peru
Derecho Ambiente y Recursos Naturales DAR Peru
Digital Pages Initiative Zambia
DiXi Group Ukraine
Energy Transparency Association Ukraine
Engenera, A.C. Mexico
Foro Boliviano sobre Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo FOBOMADE Bolivia
Foro Nacional por Colombia Colombia
Fundación Jubileo Bolivia
Global Witness United Kingdom
Green Network Organization Myanmar
Gubad Ibadoghlu’s family USA
Hannah youth organisation Iraq
IBEDC Georgia
Initiative Africaine pour le Développement Intégré au Sahel IADIS Mali
La Coalition Nationale Publiez Ce Que Vous Payez Guinea
La’o Hamutuk East Timor
Lebanese Oil and Gas Initiative-LOGI Lebanon
Lumière Synergie Développement Senegal
Mineral Inheritors Rights Association India
Naila Sebbahi Belgium
Nash Vek Public Foundation Kyrgyzstan
Natural Resource Governance Institute Nigeria
NGO Center ecology-legal initiative “Globus” Kazakhstan
Observatorio Petrolero Sur Argentina
Ombudsman Energía Mexico Mexico
ONG Creativit 1 Developpement Guinea
Open Contracting Partnership USA
Oscar Pineda Mexico
Oxfam México Mexico
Paata Sheshelidze Georgia
Paulo Cunha USA
PCQVP Côte d’Ivoire Ivory Coast
PCQVP Madagascar Madagascar
PCQVP RDC Democratic Republic of the Congo
PCQVP-Mali Mali
Policy Alert Nigeria
Poltava branch of Social Service of Ukraine Ukraine
Practice for impact Botswana
Public Association Echo Kazakhstan
Publiez ce que vous payez Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo
PUBLIEZ CE QUE VOUS PAYEZ/RDC Democratic Republic of the Congo
Publish What You Pay – United States USA
Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia Indonesia
Publish What You Pay Australia Australia
PWYP Mauritania Mauritania
PWYP Tunisia Tunisia
Ravan BAGHIROV France
RDl/AFEF membre de PCQVP-Mali Mali
Reciclemos AC Mexico
RELUFA Cameroon
Rencontre pour la Paix et les Droits de l’Homme (RPDH) Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sange Research Center Kazakhstan
Solidariedade Mocambique Mozambique
TedhelteEntre Aide Niger Niger
The Institute of Social Policy and Research South Sudan
Transparency International France France
Transparency International Madagascar Madagascar
Universidad de Buenos Aires Argentina
Гражданская экспертиза Kazakhstan
ОО Комитет по общественному контролю за исполнением государственных программ на местном уровне Kazakhstan
ОФ Гражданская экспертиза Kazakhstan
ОЮЛ Ассоциация “Альянс “За прозрачный бюджет” Kyrgyzstan
ТАН Mongolia – Publish What You Pay Mongolia
Ховдын толь газета обшественний организация Mongolia
Экологическое сообщество Актобе и региона Kazakhstan


Individual signatories:

Carlos Monge Peru
Craig Oliphant United Kingdom
Denis Gyeyir Ghana
Erdenechimeg Dashdorj Mongolia
Jon Ramberg Norway
Julie McCarthy USA
Naila Sebbahi Belgium
Oscar Pineda Mexico
Paulo Cunha USA
Stephan Brodziak Mexico
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