Center for National and International Studies
“It turned out that the government is interested in the political dividends of the liberation of some lands, and it is no longer interested in the serious social problems of the families of martyrs and veterans.”
(Lack of) Human Rights and Liberties
Relatives of three religious activists – Yasin Ahmadov, Vugar Aliyev and Nijat Aliyev – reported that the activists have been missing since June 18. According to family members who told Meydan TV, they appealed to law enforcement agencies on June 18, but could not get any information about their whereabouts. However, On June 19, it was learned that Yasin Ahmadov was sentenced to 10 days of administrative detention by the Sumgayit City Court. Relatives of Vugar and Nijat Aliyevs received information that they were in one of the police stations in Sumgayit. The families of the named religious activists claim that they were detained in Sumgayit for the slogan “Punish those who insult Allah” written on the wall. The detained religious activists are said to be members of the Muslim Union Movement.
Elgiz Mammadov, a member of the Muslim Union Movement, has been released from 30 days of administrative detention. Mammadov said that his confession had been obtained through torture and that he was insulted.
Fariz Aliyev, a member of the Muslim Union Movement, held a rally in front of the Ministry of Justice to express his support for the imprisoned chairman of the Movement Taleh Bagirzadeh, and other believers in prison. Police detained Aliyev, and he was forced into a car to be taken to an unknown destination.
Azadliq newspaper reports that Niyameddin Ahmadov, the former bodyguard of the chairman of the Popular Front Party Ali Karimli, was tortured in prison. After his head was shaved and kept in solitary confinement overnight, Ahmadov was threatened with being transferred to high security closed prison in Gobustan.
A protest was held in front of the Military Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday. The protesters were family members and relatives of the victims of the “Tartar events”. They chanted slogans demanding the resignation of military prosecutor Khanlar Valiyev for failing to deliver an objective investigation of the “Tartar case”. Valiyev made a statement denying his responsibility for what happened and said that he should not resign. He argued that even worse would happen if he did not intervene and stop the torture against a number of servicemen. However, a few months ago, Valiyev denied any allegation of torture and called it a “tall tale”.
Exiled journalist Afgan Mukhtarli reported that activist Ziya Ibrahimli’s trial will take place in Bilasuvar District Court on June 17. Ziya Ibrahimli was deported from Germany on May 19 and arrested at Baku Airport. He was detained for 30 days by the Bilasuvar Court on May 20. Ibrahimli was denied having a lawyer. Mukhtarli also said that the family members and close relatives of Ibrahimli are under constant police surveillance and have been harassed. According to Mukhtarli, Ibrahimli was subjected to severe torture, and his health deteriorated sharply. Although no charges have been filed against him, his family is concerned that Ibrahimli will be sentenced to long-term imprisonment. Mukhtarli also added that the German Embassy in Baku should attend the trial, and the German government would be held accountable if Ibrahimli was killed.
Relatives of those who were deported to Azerbaijan from Germany under a readmission agreement but later arrested protested in front of the United Nations Office in Azerbaijan. The protesters said that four of the six people arrested after returning from Germany were charged with drugs. The families said that the arrested activists are innocent and have been arrested for their political views.
Governance, Transparency and Corruption
As the government insists on not opening the land borders for travel, outrage among people grows. Chairperson of APFP Ali Karimli commented on the issue, arguing that by closing the land borders, Aliyev’s regime aims to make extra profit and prevent the unemployed citizens from coming back to the country. Karimli wrote: By closing the border roads, 100,000 people are forced to buy expensive AZAL tickets. AZAL‘s expenses are covered by the state budget, and the profits go to them. That is, hundreds of thousands of citizens lose, and it is known who gains from this situation. Moreover, the regime prevents border trade by keeping land borders closed. Millions of ordinary citizens, and small and medium businesses are deprived of the opportunity to bring food and other imported goods into the country. Thus, everyone is forced to buy goods and products brought to the country by monopolistic corrupt oligarchs, of course, at a higher price. Still, it is the ordinary poor who suffer, and the ruling family and the surrounding oligarchs increase their billions. Also, the regime keeps the country’s land borders closed so that Azerbaijanis bankrupt due to the crisis in Russia, cannot return to the country easily and cheaply, even if they want to. Authorities fear that these people will return to the country to join the army of unemployed and will eventually take part in future anti-regime protests. Thus, as always, the regime oppresses millions of people for its own benefit. It never considers them. Unfortunately, this is a bitter reality.”
Mashallah Gulaga oglu Manafov, a disabled veteran of the Second Karabakh War, hanged himself. The relatives said that the incident took place on June 16 after he left the building of the Sabirabad District Executive Power. The Sabirabad District Executive Power confirmed that Manafov hanged himself. However, they added that Manafov committed suicide in the village of Javadkend. An executive official said that Manafov, born in 1986, committed suicide due to financial problems. Altogether 32 veterans have committed suicide since the end of the second Karabakh War.
Chairperson of APFP Ali Karimli expressed his sympathy to the families of the deceased, adding that the government is directly responsible for the tragedy. Karimli wrote: “Less than two years have passed since the days of the Second Karabakh War. At that time, everyone hoped that after the war there would be serious changes in the country, there would be no more state policy of corruption, and the heroes of the second Karabakh war would not be treated unfairly. At that time, we all hoped that the selflessness of our brave servicemen, who returned our national pride to us, will never be forgotten and that they would not be left alone with their problems. We hoped that Ilham Aliyev, who claimed the victory of our brave servicemen and tried to gain maximum dividends from this military success, would not leave our heroic soldiers and officers alone with serious social problems and would not be indifferent to their bitter fate. Unfortunately, those hopes were all in vain. It turned out that the government is interested in the political dividends of the liberation of some lands, and it is no longer interested in the serious social problems of the families of martyrs and veterans.”
June 21, 2022