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Center for National and International Studies
The most popular topics have been continued post-rally pressure of authorities on opposition, debates on effectiveness of tactics of various political groups, in particular debates on the REAL activist Natig Jafarli’s interview to the pro-government TV channel, role of intelligentsia, Non-Allied Movement, which Azerbaijan is member of, meeting in Baku, including Maduro’s visit, social problems both in the city and the regions, the statements and corruption of the deputies of the parliament, the exhibition devoted to the late Russian official Yevgeni Primakov in Baku, explosion on the SOCAR’s off-shore oil drilling rig, tasteless renovation of the Old City, the response by the Azerbaijani young woman to Russian commentator Vladimir Pozner on Karabagh issue during his speech in the US.
The FB users share information about people being detained, invited to the police stations and pressured in the aftermath of the rally. People share information about Ilham Huseynli, the member of board of the Popular Front Party, who was detained while he was going to bakery, and that the police planted drugs on him, who never even smoke. Nigar Hezi, whose father and husband were put behind bars after the rally reported about her brother who was also called to the police station and warned not to participate in rallies.
The postings and statements by the political leaders and activists are discussed. The user posted the recent statement by PFP leader Ali Kerimli, who discouraged his supporters to speak about his leadership and a party, but rather about the all national movement, as a proof of disinterested struggle of the party and the leader. Ali Kerimli also reports about cross-border solidarity of the Azerbaijanis in exile and that the protests also took place in Dusseldorf and Stokholm.
FB users are ironically commenting on the quotations from the statements of the MPs. MP Hadi Racabli said, that in China child benefits are not given to families, quite opposite, families are paying additional taxes. They also share posting with information that Hadi Racabli teaches how one with 180 manat monthly salary may become ( like himself) the owner of the 17 villas. ( People are playing with his earlier statement that one can live well with 180 manats).The other shared postings are quoting MP Ilham Mammadov, who said, that each Azerbaijani citizen already feel the positive results of new reforms. The issue of the old age of the MPs ( most of whom are shown in the shared lists of MPs are over 70 years old).
Young people are sharing the new clip ( after the police violence) by an Azerbaijani rapper Jamal Ali.
The interview by one of REAL party leaders to the pro-government TV channel kanal-5 Natig Jafarli became the subject of passionate debates. He was in particular strongly criticized by journalist Khadija Ismayil, the activists in exile Ramiz Yunus, Arif Yunus, lawyer Yalchin Imanov and other public and political activists, who perceived the interview as a compromise to the government and positive assessment of the reforms. Ramiz Yunus asserted that the course on reforms is a performance which has a purpose to distract people from the transfer of full power into the hand of Pashayev’s clan and some political forces, like REAL are participating in this performance. Natig Jafarli in turn responded that his words were taken out of context and referred to the number of links to his other interviews, where he expressed in a clear manner the attitude to the police violence and reforms. Emin Milli posted a status in support for Natig Jafarli.
Russian speaking Azerbaijani FB users were discussing the issue of the architecture of the city, in particular the image of the old city, which according to a prominent architect was totally destroyed by tasteless and non-professional renovation. The other group in Russian was discussing the issue of intelligentsia, especially urban Baku intelligentsia and what’s its role nowadays. The opinion of the artist Elchin Aliyev was that after collapse of the Soviet Union it did not re-formulate its new project relevant to this century.
The FB users discuss the video recording of a car accident, where human rights defender Oktay Gulaliyev, who was, among other cases, collecting evidence in the Ter-Ter case ( the “spy” scandal in the military resulted in a number of extra-judicial killings) was hit by a car, while he was crossing zebra. The comments express doubts that this was the accident. Gulaliyev got the brain trauma and is in the hospital. His son reported that the driver who hit his father took him to the hospital, but they do not give him any medical help. He urged the FB users for help.
Altay Geyushov, REAL activist, complains that after his FB account was hacked, he has great difficulties in restoring it, mainly due to the bureaucracy of FB administrators, and warns, that if it lasts more, he will stop his membership in FB.
The FB users shared with sarcasm and irony the information about Azerbaijan being a member of Non-Allied movement, and hosting its meeting in Baku. People post photos of Africa, hinting that Aliyev’s Azerbaijan is integrated in Africa instead of the EU. However, Erkin Gadirli of REAL while saying that he is not considering this a proper organization for the country, considers that it may play a role of shield protecting the country from Russia’s pressure.
The journalist and other FB users are sharing the information by the journalist in exile Hebib Muntezir under the title” Very important”. The statement says that authorities are spreading in the FB the photos of the police violence in Europe, as the ones which took place in Baku. He warns that this is done so to discredit the human rights defender and journalists who report the brutality of the police during the last two rallies in Baku.
Azadlyg newspaper reports about the letter from the citizen of the Bradi village of the Lerik region of Azerbaijan. Gurbanov Gadir Gurbanali oglu writes, that he has a family of 5 people with 3 children of a school age. He himself is handicapped of the 3d degree and he cannot find a job and he gets only 110 manats ( approx.60 euros) social benefit which hardly cover the medicine. They survive the summer, but in the winters they live on the verge of starvation and cold. In spite of numerous appeals to the executive regional office, they did not do anything to help the situation, and gave only promises. He writes that the family survives only thanks to the help of the relatives, but this cannot last long, the house is in the poor condition and can collapse any minute, and he asks for help, as none of the state organs helped him.
FB users share the information about the exhibition about Yevgeni Primakov with indignant comments and expression of shock. They comment that how quickly Aliyev forgot about 20th of January 1990 when 150 people were crushed by tanks, and more than 700 were wounded.