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Center for National and International Studies




The dominating topics these days are the situation in connection with epidemics, arrest of the opposition leader Tofig Yagublu, naming and shaming campaign against the provocateurs in his case,

The FB users are sharing the personal data of the person who falsely testified with his wife against Tofig Yagublu – Jabrailov Elkhan Sattar oglu of 1979 year of birth.

Gubad Ibadoglu of ADR posts a number of proposals related to the epidemics, which should be announced before 1st of April.

  1. Moratorium on debts of bank credits and related to that interest, taxes and communal payments, at least for 3 months.
  2. Extension of the tax filing deadline from the 31 March to the 31th April and introduce discounts up to 6 months.
  3. To bring the consumer prices of gas and electricity sold to population in accordance with the fall of the oil price and respectively the significant fall of the gas price.
  4. Similarly to decrease the price of the oil and oil products sold to the population among them AI-92 gasoline, diesel and fuel oil ( mazut) . Otherwise it appears that Azerbaijani government sells all this cheaper abroad at the expanse of local population.
  5. All taxes on import of main food products, disinfection, medical and other substantial supplies should be cancelled.
  6. The social protection of all the social groups recieving social benefits -the unemployed, families of handicapped, pensioners etc-should be strengthened and increased by the special decree.
  7. All who lost temporarily their jobs, the business, service, or other who were forced to stop their activities should be compensated in cash.

He also compares the measures adopted by Azerbaijani authorities in connection with virus epidemics with the measures adopted in other countries.

Ibadoglu also comes up with the appeal- Let’s not allow to turn the coronavirus into corona-corruption! He calls for providing maximum  transparency in spending of 1 bln manats, which the government  gave for the struggle with coronavirus and suggests a number of measures to make it happen.

ADR issues its statement in defence of  Tofig Yagublu. It connects the provocation against him and his arrest  to the official speech  of the president Aliyev on occasion of the Novruz Bayram. It also states that while all over the world the prisons are emptied because of the epidemics, in Azerbaijan they take an advantage of the situation to intensify the hunt for the government critics. Because of the politically motivated arrest of Yagublu and the grave danger to his health ADR demands his immediate release.

Ramis Yunus, a commentator and political émigré,  shares powerful speech of Ali Kerimli of PFP in defence of Tofig Yagublu.

Bakhtiyar Hadijev comments on official statistics startessing that the real number of infected is much higher. Theoffciial registered number is 87, 1 has died, 9 more are in critical condition, 10 are recovered, 76 are under medical observation. Because they were infected somewhere else, they most probably has infected at least 10 others- in the streets, cafes, buses etc. He urges people to take this seriously  and reduce the number of contacts and hand shaking to minimum. “Do not think – nothing will happen to me, when it happens – it does only once”, he concludes.

Ordukhan Babirov comments on the promise of president to give 1 bln manats  from the budget to the struggle with pandemics.  Instead he opened the foundation, where makes all the businessman to contribute. “ One billion went to Ali-Pashayev’s offshore account,”- he concludes. Ulvi Hasanli comments similarly: “ The countries, one after another, declare support and aid to the business, economy and people, who suffered as a result of epidemics. While our government makes a pathetic introduction, that we have enormous  resources, so there is no problem, and then start to collect donation from the businessmen themselves, MPs, even from the hospitals and schools. “ A true tragedy”- he concludes.

Ilkin Rustamzade attracts attention of his followers to the detention of Amina in the 27th police department until she tells them, where her friend Shola is. Amina was detained on the 24th  March because she shared the posting of her friend Shola, who criticised official statistics on epidemics in the country.

It became really popular to call “the biggest virus” the ruling party YAP among activists. Gozel Bayramli finds is ridiculous that Ali Ahmadov , the YAP official, instead of looking for virus among his colleagues, is looking for it somewhere else.

 Isa Gambar of Musavat writes on his timeline  that arrest of Tofig Yagublu, pressure on Ilkin Rustamzade of NIDA and Fuad Gahramanli  of PFP is evidence of the requests in the president’s  “Holiday speech” being implemented with the accelerated speed. Instead of releasing the prisoners in connection with epidemics, he fills them with the new prisoners. He concludes that at this stage the government’s fear of its people has increased, and the society should continue to demand freedom for Tofig Yagublu and all other political prisoners and to reveal the truth about the substance of regime.

Nigar Hezi, the opposition activist expresses her concerns regarding the state of health of her father, recently arrested  Tofig Yagublu. She remiends that during the previous arrest her father was given tortures and his health has significantly deteriorated after a month of administrative arrest, resulting in the recent surgery. Besides he has had asthma for a long time, which aggravates during the spring. After serving the prison term in 13 colony, next to the cement factory, his asthma condition aggravated. And all this is happening at the peak of coronavirus epidemics. “If something happens to my father in prison- the responsibility will be fully on Ilham  Aliyev!” – she concludes.

Ali Kerimli writes about the counterproductivity of the government policies towards its critics. He brings the example of widely spread and shared campaign of naming and shaming of the provocateur in Tofig Yagublu case ( he notes that according to the last information, he was a “professional” one) proves the people’s discontent with the government, and warns the latter that this arrest brings their rule closer to its end and that the number of people protesting it will be increasing day by day. He also adds that the responsibility of Yagublu safety lies fully with Ilham Aliyev.

Altay Geyushov comments that while observing how German government takes care of its citizens during the epidemics, and in addition  will receive the patients from Italy and France, he was envious, as this is a great example of the trust of government in people, and people in turn- in its government.

Ramis Yunus compares the statements of the president Aliyev to the one by Adolf Hitler. Yunus calls it fascism, as similar to Hitler, calling for isolation of the country from the Jews,  Aliyev calls for isolation of the country from what he called “the fifth column – radical opposition”.

Seymur Hezi reports that Tofig Yagublu’s right to have a phone conversation from prison is being violated.

Arif Mammadov, the diplomat in exile, states, that ‘ every day we should  demand freedom for Tofig Yagublu

Elchin Mammad the chair of the Legal Education of the Youth of Sumgayit published report on state of human rights in the country in 2019. The report states, that there was no progress in the provision of human rights and democratic freedoms in Azerbaijan. There was a violation of the fundamental principles of  freedom and the rule of law, the  state violence was applied against the civil society, and the threats on life of government critics were registered. No steps were undertaken to resolve the similar problems remaining from the previous years.

Altay Geyushov ridicules the idea of donations into the newly created foundation for the fight with the epidemics.  He reports that the pir ( the sacred place of pilgrimage with mystic powers in the Old City) Mir Movsum Aga has donated 50 thousand to the foundation. “Can you imagine, -he comments, -that a relative of the infected brings there money asking the pir to heal his family member, while the manager of the place takes it to the foundation to get him healed? “

Ali Kerimli reports with the reference to the family members about aggravation of the health condition of the political prisoner Babek Hasanli, the Karabagh war veteran and the head of the PFP Narimanov branch. His brother informed that Babek suffers high fever and a soar throat. Similar symptoms are widely spread among the prisoners now. Ali Kerimli bringing Iran, Turkey, other countries of the world who released thousands of prisoners demands a release of prisoners, except for the committed particular grave crimes, from the Azerbaijani government. He also comments that in spite the government’s  hopes, that international community too busy with epidemics will not notice the arrest of Tofig Yagublu  a few well known organizations already made statements in defence of the activists, among them Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, EITIC. The Current Times  TV programme in Russian language gave a substantial material in connection with this arrest. He calls his followers to join and spread these materials and demand  freedom to Tofig Yagublu.

Nigar Hezi comments worryingly about conditions of the Shuvelan detention centre. She writes that the Council of Europe’s Committee Against Tortures  has been demanding this detention centre to be shut down since 2017 and brings the citation from  their report: “ The authorities placed Yagublu in Pretrial Detention Facility No.3 in Shuvelan, which is notorious for its cells being severely overcrowded, dilapidated, dirty, and poorly lit and ventilated. In 2017, following a visit to the country, the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), the Council of Europe’s torture prevention body, recommended closing the facility “as soon as possible. Placing Yagublu  in Shuvelan pretrial facility also goes against the CPT’s recent announcement, made in the context of the coronavirus disease, urging all relevant authorities to make concerted efforts “to resort to alternatives to deprivation of liberty,” particularly in cases of overcrowding.” She  stressed that he could not notify his family about his transfer to another facility for two days, contrary to the legal provisions. She also informed that the judge who was presiding the court hearing on his detention, is the son of the Nizami regional Court’s head, the judge Jafarov Aladdin. The judge Nariman Mehdiyev in turn was implementing the order by the chair of the court to charge him and indict.

Nigar Hezi reported after she has spoken to her father on the phone  at 19.09 on the 25th March. “ He is strong and sends his greetings to all his friends. He mentioned that upon arrival to Shuvelan detention center he got only the mask. No other hygienic means were given – a soap, toothpaste or a toothbrush, no clean clothes etc. Whatever we brought to him was not allowed. Now you can imagine the hygienic conditions of that place, and how can one not to worry for the health of the father when the epidemics is on the rise?”

Ordukhan Babirov ridicules the naivete of the population, who believed in the rumors related to the state compensation in connection with epidemics. He comments that now the rumors are spread that Ilham Aliyev will give every citizen 2000 manat. And even they started the list of the citizens, excluding of course, the traitors and the 5th column. They even opened the website and people started naively looking for their names in the list. He continues, that all sort of shady deals are possible, because Heydar Aliyev long ago praised great patience of this people. “Meaning you can enjoy yourself with this patient people…Poor people…”- he concludes.

Natig Jafarli of REAL speculates about the gambling business and its profits from the sports, and respectively — losses from the condition of epidemics. In this regard he finds it indicative that the president of Belarus decided not to cancel football championship and suggests that along with the gambling companies,  most probably, he is going to benefit personally from this too.

Март 28, 2020