U.S. Says Has Been Following Arrest Of Gubad Ibadoglu 'Closely’

Washington D.C./10.08.23/Turan:   The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday that it has been following the arrest of Gubad Ibadoglu, an Azerbaijani economist and leading government critic, 'closely,' TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

"I’m not going to speak to conversations that we’ve had, as usual – private diplomatic conversations – but it is an arrest that we have followed closely," Spokesperson Matthew Miller told a daily briefing when asked by TURAN about recent Washington Post editorial urging the Biden administration to plea for the immediate release of Mr. Ibadoglu' during 'any contacts with Azerbaijan'.

Miller went on to add:  "We remain strongly committed to advancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. And we urge Azerbaijan to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens, including Gubad Ibadoglu, consistent with Azerbaijan’s own constitution and international obligations and commitments"

Ibadoglu, a respected economist (recently of Rutgers University) who has advocated for democratic principles and socio-economic progress within Azerbaijan, was detained on July 23 outside Baku on a charge of counterfeiting after police claimed they found forged bills worth $40,000 in his abandoned apartment, an accusation that he categorically disputes.

Ibadoglu is diabetic and has hypertension. His family says he has been denied access to medicine, and they fear for his health, according to the Washington Post.

Several U.S. lawmakers, including Senate Foreign Affairs Committee leadership, have called on the Azerbaijani government this week to ensure the availability of medicines and immediate release of Ibadoglu.

Alex Raufoglu

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