One of three Azerbaijanis arrested in Libya on smuggling charges dies

One of three Azerbaijanis arrested in Libya on smuggling charges dies
# 30 March 2017 11:34 (UTC +04:00)

One of the three Azerbaijanis, who was detained in Libya on 13 February 2016 on charges of smuggling diesel fuel, has died in prison. 


Azerbaijani man, identified as Elshad Huseynov, 48, died of heart failure in prison on March 5, 2017, the deceased’s wife, Sakina Huseynova, told APA.


According to Huseynova, her husband’s body was brought to Turkey, then to Azerbaijan on March 30 thanks to the joint efforts of Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry and Turkish company ‘Saygı Denizcilik ve Elektrik San.’, where Azerbaijanis are working.


“To date, I had telephone conversation with my husband several times with the help of Murad Karen, a Turkish company employee,” she added.


The crew of the vessel ‘Captain Khayyam’ that included three Azerbaijanis, one Turk and four Ukrainians was detained in Libya last year on charges of smuggling gasoline.


Speaking to APA, Ali Babayev, the cousin of one of the Azerbaijani detainees Aliagha Babayev, said his relative and the other detainees are being detained in poor conditions in Libya.


Babayev said they contacted their relative in December last year through Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry.


“We have repeatedly appealed to the Libyan embassy in Azerbaijan. However, the embassy said that the situation related to the public administration is not good there,” said Babayev, adding. “We are also in constant contact with a company employee named Murad. The company says that the government of Libya demands money in exchange for the return of the ship crew. However, the company is afraid that the crew members will not be returned after money transfer. Therefore, they require a check or a bank account.”


According to Babayev, the name of another Azerbaijan detainee is Elmikhan Baghirov.


Last year in February, three Azerbaijanis were detained in Libya. They are captain Namig Salamov, sailor Farid Aliyev and motorist Mohlud Rashidbeyli, who were traveling to Turkey to work.


They were not heard from since February 21, when they were on board “Kalkanlar 1” ship (Gebze Denizcilik company) off the Libyan coast.


Farid Aliyev’s brother Zaur Aliyev told APA that it was not until October 2016 that they finally heard from his brother.


“He called us up himself and told us that a group of Azerbaijanis had been taken hostage along with others by a rebel group called ‘Dawlah Al-Islamiyyah’ operating in Libya. Afterwards, when government forces set the hostages—including Azerbaijani ones—free in Misurata. They’re currently in prison in Misurata,” he said.


Zaur Aliyev said he last talked to his brother five or six days ago.


“We’re being told they’re going to be released but it has not happened for months. They’re not being held in good conditions therein. We, as well as the families of the other detainees, are desperately worried. The dead body has already arrived of one of them. We’re afraid that those of ours might end up like him. If it has been possible to bring back the deceased one’s body, it should also be possible to bring back those still alive,” he added.