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Statement from the EITI Board Chair on the continued detention of Mr. Gubad Ibadoghlu

Statement from the EITI Board Chair on the continued detention of Mr. Gubad Ibadoghlu

As Chair of the EITI Board, I express my deep concern over the continued detention of Mr. Gubad Ibadoghlu in Azerbaijan.

Prior to his arrest in July 2023, Mr. Gubad was a leading advocate for transparency and accountability globally, and served as a civil society representative on the EITI Board for six years from 2013 to 2019.

His arrest, detention, and ongoing ill-health has raised serious concerns among EITI stakeholders and prominent representatives of the international community. He has remained in pre-trial detention since his arrest on 23 July 2023.

An integral part of the EITI’s mission is to protect civic space and provide an enabling environment for citizens to express their views on natural resource governance without fear of reprisal. Azerbaijan played a leading role in the EITI from the organisation’s creation in 2003 until the decision of the Government of Azerbaijan to withdraw in 2017.

The impact of restricting Mr. Gubad’s ability to exercise his basic rights is felt beyond Azerbaijan, given his contribution to the global movement to promote accountability in the extractive sector. In the context of Azerbaijan’s role in hosting the Conference of Parties (COP29) in November 2024 and the importance of fostering public debate on climate and the energy transition, we would hope that protecting civic space will be given priority by the Government of Azerbaijan.

Accordingly, I have written to President Aliyev to urge his administration to take all necessary steps to ensure the immediate release of Mr. Gubad, and to enable him to access essential medical care and enjoy fundamental freedoms.