By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijani citizens Elmikhan Bagirov and Aliaga Babayev, imprisoned in Libya, have returned back to the country on January 21, Foreign Ministry has reported.
According to the ministry's website, in March 2016, a ship belonging to a company registered in Turkey and sailing under the Sierra Leone flag was detained by Libyan coastguards while moving in the direction of Libya-Malta-Turkey.
The ship’s crew of 12 people, including three citizens of Azerbaijan, was arrested for five years for smuggling oil products.
“Unfortunately, one of the citizens, the ship’s sailor Elshad Huseynov died in Libya,” the ministry stated.
As a result of the measures taken by the Azerbaijani government in connection with the return of these citizens - the ship’s captain Elmikhan Bagirov and the sailor Aliaga Babayev, by the decision of the General Prosecutor's Office of Libya dated December 29, 2020, were released from custody and placed in the temporary detention center.
Later, via the efforts of the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Istanbul for the emergency evacuation of Azerbaijan’s citizens, Elmikhan Bagirov and Aliaga Babayev were able to return to the country on January 21, 2021, on a flight Tripoli-Istanbul-Baku.
It was noted that the evacuation was carried out with the assistance of Turkey and Libya, the coordination activities of Ukraine and the support of the shipping company.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz