Center for National and International Studies
“The children of notorious autocratic rulers and their allies own £250m of UK property via offshore companies…”
(Lack of ) Human Rights and Freedoms
The European Court of Human Rights, decided to immediately consider the case of jailed opposition leader Professor Gubad Ibadoglu and sent inquiries to the Azerbaijani government. The reason for the immediate consideration of the case is due to the sharp deterioration of Ibadoghlu‘s health and his inability to withstand the harsh conditions of detention.
Three more US congressmen, namely Tom Kean, Gerry Connolly, and Bill Keating, have added their voices to the plea for the release of opposition politician and economist Gubad Ibadoglu. Congressman Keating shared his support for this cause on his social media platform. The congressmen are advocating for the protection of Gubad Ibadoglu‘s rights, ensuring he receives necessary medical treatment, and upholding principles of fair justice in his case. Meanwhile, none of the Azerbaijani Members of Parliament have shown support for Ibadoghlu. On the contrary, 20 members of the Azerbaijan Milli Majlis actively engaged in a smear campaign against Ibadoghlu using a defamatory narrative to justify political persecution.
Galib Togrul, Ibadoglu’s brother, has raised concerns about the authenticity of medical records of Ibadoghlu who is detained at the Baku Detention Center. According to Togrul, his brother has reported that the recorded values for blood sugar and arterial pressure are deliberately understated after measurement. Togrul expressed apprehension about potential manipulation during more complex medical procedures such as echocardiograms, ultrasound examinations of internal organs, as well as blood and urine analyses, suggesting that there may be undisclosed irregularities in these processes.
Moreover, Ibadoglu’s another brother, Galib Bayramov told Meydan TV that their family members have been prohibited from leaving the country. He pointed out that this travel ban has been imposed not only on the Bayramovs but also on relatives with different surnames.
Galib Bayramov said that, in accordance with the law, travel bans can only be legally enforced by a court decision and should pertain exclusively to individuals formally named as accused parties in a criminal case. He emphasized that in the fabricated criminal case against his brother, there is no mention of any sibling or relative, even as a witness, making the imposition of a travel ban unlawful. Bayramov suspects that this travel ban is unofficial in nature. Their awareness of this restriction arose when Gubad Ibadoglu‘s younger brother was detained at the airport while attempting to travel to Turkey. The authorities informed him that the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) had imposed a travel restriction, yet they did not provide a reason for it. Simultaneously, another relative of theirs, who did not share the Bayramov surname, encountered a similar situation at the border and was denied exit without an explanation.
According to Azadliq newspaper, a Karabakh war veteran died in prison as a result of torture. Subhan Agayev, a convicted war veteran, tragically lost his life in penitentiary facility No. 5. The court indictment presented by the investigation revealed that Major of Justice Humbat Mammadov, the chief inspector of the penitentiary, unlawfully restrained Subhan Aghayev with handcuffs connected to the iron bed’s headboard on February 27-28. This act not only degraded his dignity but also deprived him of sustenance and restricted his natural needs and freedom of movement. As a result, Aghayev died under these inhuman circumstances. The Salyan District Court found Mammadov guilty and imposed a fine of 2,000 manats.
Jeyhun Balashov, a religious detainee, endured the harrowing experience of being subjected to electric shock torture, which left him unable to walk. Balashov, now reliant on a wheelchair, recounted the horrific ordeal, saying, “As soon as they applied the device to my back, I lost consciousness due to the sheer intensity of the current and the excruciating pain.” His mobility remains severely restricted as a result.
The sister of Agha-Ali Yahyayev, a member of the Muslim Union Movement Board, disclosed that her brother had been subjected to brutal torture. Unable to withstand the severity of the torment, he was coerced into signing confessions for crimes he had not committed.
Furthermore, another incarcerated believer faced a threat of sexual assault if he refused to sign false drug-related allegations against him. According to Haji Telman, the leader of the Khojahasan settlement, who was falsely accused of drug offenses: “They took me to an office in the detention center. In the office, a person named Nizami asked me if I knew about the attack on the MP? He told me that I was a suspect and there were three charges against me – weapons, drugs, and treason. They said I should admit at least one of them. I told them that I had nothing to do with those allegations. He said that if I did not do what they ask, I would pay for it. Nizami told me such things that I cannot say them here…”
Haji Telman’s health deteriorated on multiple occasions during the court proceedings.
In the United Kingdom, the Aliyev family and their associates reportedly possess property valued at £200 million, as reported by “The Times.” The newspaper reveals that the monthly rent for a penthouse advertised on Park Lane is £16,000. Based on an analysis of extensive data from the registry database, this penthouse is linked to the London assets of Leyla and Arzu Aliyeva, Aliyev’s daughters, estimated to be worth £21 million. Situated in one of London’s most prestigious neighborhoods, it boasts a scenic view of the renowned Hyde Park. The children of notorious autocratic rulers and their allies own £250m of UK property via offshore companies, an exclusive Times investigation has revealed.
Prior to changes in transparency regulations in the UK, property ownership details remained undisclosed to the public. “The Times” highlights that the Aliyeva have not responded to inquiries sent to them and refrains from making definitive claims about the properties’ involvement in any illicit activities. However, the newspaper also references a report from the US State Department, which alleges significant cases of corruption within the Azerbaijani government. In previous inquiries conducted by the Anti-Corruption and Organized Crime Journalism Project, it was disclosed that the daughters of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, Leyla and Arzu Aliyeva, along with their cousins, Mirjalal and Mirjamal Pashayev, were in possession of multi-million-dollar properties in London. The Azerbaijani government previously asserted that the president’s family members are not legally prohibited from engaging in business activities. Furthermore, Britain’s National Crime Agency seized millions of pounds from individuals associated with the Azerbaijani authorities.
September 8, 2023