The household of a London-based tutorial arrested in Azerbaijan has accused western capitals of failing to press for his launch due to Baku’s function supplying power to Europe because it weans itself off Russian provides, warning the state of affairs is pressing as his well being is declining.
Gubad Ibadoghlu, an economist working as a visiting professor with the London College of Economics, was arrested on July 23 after travelling to Azerbaijan for household causes. He’s being held on prices of non secular extremism and proudly owning or coping with counterfeit money, accusations his household says are fabricated.
“No one helps, due to oil and gasoline contracts,” Zhala Bayramova, Ibadoghlu’s daughter, mentioned. “We’re simply screaming and begging . . . and nothing is going on.”
Ibadoghlu, who remains to be in pre-trial detention, faces as much as 12 years in jail if convicted. The 52-year-old tutorial suffers from diabetes and a coronary heart situation, and his well being had quickly deteriorated in jail, Bayramova mentioned.
His supporters blame the arrest on his tutorial analysis into corruption and his function within the political opposition in oil- and gas-rich Azerbaijan, the place dozens of presidency critics have been jailed. Additionally they level to current work by the tutorial that raised doubts about Azerbaijan’s high-profile gas deal with the EU.
Brussels and Baku signed an agreement in summer time 2022, shortly after the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, to double provides of Azeri gasoline to Europe to 20bn cubic metres a 12 months by 2027.
In a weblog for the LSE, Ibadoghlu argued that counting on Azerbaijani gasoline as an alternative choice to Russian provides was “unrealistic”. He raised doubts concerning the feasibility of quickly growing output on the nation’s 4 essential gasfields, mentioning the necessity for large infrastructure investments.
As an alternative, he recommended, Azerbaijan might find yourself reselling Russian gasoline to Europe.
“At current the one viable method for the nation to fulfil its obligations to Europe by 2027 could be to buy extra gasoline from Russia and Turkmenistan,” Ibadoghlu wrote. “This is able to be solely counterproductive given the political rationale of the EU-Azerbaijan power memorandum.”
Different consultants contest his view. “The gasoline is there,” mentioned Gulmira Rzayeva, a senior visiting fellow on the Oxford Institute of Power Research, including that in distinction with Ibadoghlu’s evaluation, her analysis didn’t present home gasoline demand in Azerbaijan rising so rapidly that it might undermine the nation’s export plans.
The essential components affecting the settlement had been on the EU aspect, she mentioned, together with willingness by particular person member states to signal long-term contracts and spend money on a fossil gasoline mission at a time when the bloc was working to fulfill bold climate goals.
Bayramova mentioned she believed her father’s work on corruption was the chief purpose for his detention. The professor had simply introduced plans to arrange a scholarship fund for Azerbaijani college students, which he mentioned could be funded at the very least partly by the switch of belongings seized by the UK from outstanding Azerbaijanis in anti-corruption investigations.
Livia Paggi, head of political threat on the JS Held consultancy, mentioned: “His energy lies in the truth that he’s a skilled economist. He is ready to learn funds paperwork, introduce transparency and maintain the federal government accountable.”
Authorities in Baku have additionally accused the tutorial of being a part of the Gulen motion, an Islamic sect the Turkish authorities blames for an tried coup in 2016. He has been charged with the preparation, storage and distribution of non secular extremist supplies in reference to the group.
By linking Ibadoghlu to the Gulen motion, Baku was doubtless making an attempt to safe the assist of longstanding ally Ankara within the occasion of worldwide backlash over the arrest of the tutorial, who has additionally taught within the US and elsewhere within the west, Paggi mentioned.
The federal government of Azerbaijan and the EU fee didn’t reply to requests for remark.
In a press release issued in response to an NGO, British power firm BP, a big international investor in Azerbaijan, mentioned: “We don’t sometimes touch upon the authorized/judicial processes within the international locations during which we function except in respect of our actions. Within the matter of Dr. Ibadoglu, we’re very sorry to listen to of his medical situation and hope the state of affairs is resolved swiftly, in accordance with worldwide human rights norms in addition to nationwide legal guidelines.”
The European parliament passed a movement in September condemning Ibadoghlu’s arrest, and an analogous movement has been launched within the UK parliament.
The European Courtroom of Human Rights has additionally dominated that Azerbaijan, which is topic to the court docket, should provide Ibadoghlu common medical examinations. However this, Bayramova mentioned, just isn’t sufficient with out concrete motion, comparable to getting the Council of Europe to invoke an article that calls for Azerbaijan clarify why it has not applied the court docket’s resolution.
“My father is dying,” Bayramova mentioned, “and if [the court’s decision] just isn’t applied to get him at the very least hospitalised, then my father will die.”
The establishments of the EU, she mentioned, “have nice leverage on Azerbaijan. They purchase oil and gasoline from the nation . . . The EU states that it’s primarily based on human rights values. Nevertheless, if human rights just isn’t a primary situation for enterprise deal for the EU, then the place is the proof for that?”