Three Azerbaijani citizens released from prison in Libya
Three Azerbaijani citizens (Namiq Salmanov, Movlud Rashidbayli and Farid Aliyev), who were imprisoned in Libya, were released on Aug. 31, 2017 following long negotiations held by Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry with the relevant structures of Libya, the ministry told APA.
The above-mentioned Azerbaijani citizens, members of crew of the “Kalkanlar 1” vessel owned by a Turkish company, were declared wanted on February 27, 2016 as missing. Subsequently, the missing Azerbaijani citizens contacted the members of their families by phone and said that they had sunk the ship, however they couldn’t provide detailed information.
After the investigation by Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry, it was established that the Azerbaijani citizens were taken hostage by militants of the “Islamic State” (IS) terrorist group in the Libyan city of Sirte.
Due to suspension of Azerbaijan’s diplomatic mission in Libya, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry asked for consular assistance to the Turkish diplomatic mission in Libya. Also, contacts were continued with the embassy of Libya in Azerbaijan.
As a result of the measures taken, the citizens of Azerbaijan were released, and they were brought to the territory under the control of Libyan state authorities.
They were accused of causing serious damage to Libya’s budget due to the illegal export of diesel fuel via the territory of Libya.
During this time, the staff of the Turkish diplomatic mission in Libya visited the Azerbaijani citizens in the detention center and ensured their communication with members of their families by phone.
On September 2, the Azerbaijani citizens were taken to Istanbul, and after that they were sent by a plane to Baku.
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry expressed gratitude to the Turkish embassies in Libya and Azerbaijan, as well as this country’s foreign ministry for the support offered in this issue.
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