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Friday, July 01, 2005


London woman arrested in Azerbaijan comes home

From The Hampstead and Highgate Express:

A MOTHER who was arrested and accused of gun-running in Azerbaijan has spoken of her ordeal.

Almas Guliyeva, 46, from Child's Hill, was released and returned on Thursday last week after a two-week detention in hospital.

The British citizen from Cricklewood Lane had been visiting relatives when security officials in the capital city Baku's airport pulled a pistol from her bags.

She was kept in the airport from 6am until 8pm, when she was taken to a police station for questioning.

At that point, terrified Mrs Guliyeva became very ill and, with her blood pressure shooting up, she was rushed to hospital and placed in a bed, which was guarded at all times.

She said: "I had a minor stroke and lost feeling on my left side."

She was too weak to speak to her two sons - Ilkin, 19, and Vugar Guliyev, nine - who were in England frantically campaigning for her release.

She said: "A British Embassy official came to see me. He told me Ilkin was doing a great job and he said I should be very proud of him, and I am very proud of him."

The official finally came last Wednesday to say the Azeri government had decided to release her.

Mrs Guliyeva said she was detained because her husband Ilgar's uncle, Rasul Guliyev, is the chairman of the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan and a former chairman of the Azeri parliament who now lives in exile in New York.

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