Dr. Gubad Ibadoghlu, prominent academic, has been detained in an Azerbaijani prison since July 23, 2023 for allegedly having a connection to FETO, a terrorist organization, and for carrying counterfeit currency, which he believes was planted by his assailants. Dr. Ibadoghlu has reportedly been treated poorly during his imprisonment, and we are requesting he be safely returned to his family in the United Kingdom.
September 26, 2023
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan
The Presidential Palace
19 Istiqlaliyyat Street
Republic of Azerbaijan, Baku, AZ1066
Fax: (+99412) 492 35 43, (+99412) 492 06 25
Dear President Aliev,
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is a fifty-year-old independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers, and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We are writing to express our concern regarding prominent academic Gubad Ibadoghlu, a research fellow at the London School of Economics, who was supposed to begin teaching at the Technical University in Dresden in the fall of 2023, but instead remains in detention in Azerbaijan since July 23rd.
Dr. Ibadoghlu’s name is well known in the United States and abroad. He was a visiting professor under the Fulbright Program at Duke University and a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton and Rutgers University. He has given numerous invited talks at universities throughout the world. His expertise on Azerbaijan’s economy has been highly valued by world experts and relied upon by the world banks. He has been a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow of the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy and has conducted research for the World Bank, European Union, UNICEF, USAID, OSCE, and many other organizations.
On July 23rd of this year, during Dr. Ibadoghlu and his wife’s visit to Baku, their car was reportedly surrounded by numerous cars carrying security agents and forced into a traffic accident. They were severely beaten, and Dr. Ibadoghlu was arrested. He was accused of having a connection to FETO, an organization of Fethullah Gullen, and of carrying counterfeit currency he and his wife believe was planted into their belongings by the assailants. The actual reason for his arrest is believed to be his central role in founding the Azerbaijani Youth Educational Foundation in the United Kingdom, which is despised in some circles of the Azerbaijani government.
While in prison, Dr. Ibadoghlu has been denied medical care despite his serious heart condition. He was reportedly subjected to sleep deprivation, abuse by prison inmates, and torture by his interrogators. Given his international prominence, these developments have been closely followed by human rights organizations and academics throughout the world, as well as by the U.S. and E.U. elected representatives who have made numerous public statements demanding the immediate release of Dr. Ibadoghlu.
The reputation of your country is on the line. We urge you to order Dr. Ibadoghlu’s immediate release and return to the United Kingdom.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Antony J. Blinken
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Phone: (202) 647-4000
U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee
423 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AB