State Department Says 'Closely Following' Arrest Of Qubad Ibadoglu

 Washington D.C./25.07.23/Turan:  The United States said on Monday it is closely following the arrest of Qubad Ibadoglu, an opposition party chairman in Azerbaijan, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

"We are closely following the arrest of Qubad Ibadoglu... The United States remains strongly committed to advancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms," State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller told a daily press briefing in response to TURAN's questions.

"We urge Azerbaijan to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens, including Qubad Ibadoglu, consistent with Azerbaijan’s own constitution and international obligations and commitments," Miller added.

Ibadoglu, the chairman of the Azerbaijan Democracy and Welfare Party, and a respected economist (recently of Rutgers University) was detained on July 23 on a charge of counterfeiting after police claimed they found forged bills worth $40,000 in his abandoned apartment in Baku, claim that Ibadoglu and his family rejected saying that he had nothing to do with the fake money.

Ibadoglu, who recently returned to Azerbaijan after leaving for many years abroad, announced last month along with several other leading Azerbaijani politicians and activists in exile the creation of the Education Foundation for Azerbaijani Youth in London. The Azeri government has also accused him of having links to Fethullah Gulen’s terrorist organisation, a claim that is widely seen as preposterous.

Alex Raufoglu

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