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FB users actively share the information about Karabagh, the visit of the Armenia’s prime- minister there, photos and videos related to the Karabagh war and its victims, as well as failed meeting arranged by the pro-government forces in the distant district of Lokbatan devoted to the Karabagh issue. Gubad Ibadoglu of ADR movement in the interview to the Democrat.az is quoted as saying, that in contrast with the Armenian leaders, who permanently keep the issue in the center of public attention, and make regular visits to the occupied areas, in Azerbaijan there is an official policy of purposefully forgetting the issue of Karabagh. The video prepared by the Bele bele ishler, is widely shared and tells the tragic story of the child-refugee Gulmammad Mammadov from Lachin who survived the Armenian-Russian occupation. He calls his days in Lachin village the only happy years, and that the occupants stole his childhood, but upon graduation in the US Syracuse University and getting a doctorate degree in physics, returned back to Azerbaijan to teach.
The FB users also widely share and discuss the issue of the new Boeing airplane B777-200, which the president bought for his trips. There were only 59 of those produced so far, The economists ( such as Gubad Ibadoglu) calculated that for the price of 346,900 mln dollars the child benefits could be paid for the whole year for the girls living in the rural areas, and that this sum is three times more than the annual budget for the science, and two times more than the budget for environment protection. Yadigar Sadyghli of Musavat while sharing the news jokes that “thank God, that president and his wife (vice-president) did not buy two of them -one for each”.
The news24 video against the domestic violence with the number of well known Azerbaijani men apologizing for the cases of violence against women and demanding to put an end to it was shared these days by FB users.
The debates about the participation in the extra-ordinary parliamentary elections continue. The National Council issued a statement regarding its attitudes to these elections, where it asserts necessity and as a condition of participation the election reforms to provide for fairness of the elections. Tofig Yagublu of Musavat posted the analysis and his attitude to the elections and the atmosphere around it. He argued that unless the conditions are changed, participation will not give anything to the opposition, and only will legitimize the unfair elections. He also related in his analysis to some politicians, and a few young activists who were insisting on participation accompanying it by attacks on those who are against it. The activist Anar Mammadli expresses his concern in regards of absence of unity among the opposition and suggests to an opposition a few specific actions to develop a common approach and strategy to elections. The civil activist Zaur Akbar’s posts story that authorities started already created lists of candidates by calling them and suggesting to include in this list. Bakhtiyar Hajiyev comments on his page, that for 125 seats there are already 125,000 “candidates”. Various groups continue to discredit the others. The academic Altay Geyushov suggests, that Ilham Aliyev puts pressure on traditional opposition, thus empowering it, because he wants to show to the West that this is his only alternative, but in fact, the new forces such as REAL and some youth groups are much more popular. This caused critical responses from prominent journalists and activists, such as Seymur Hezi, who besides the statement itself touched upon frequent change of the party affiliation of the academic, what some FB users found unethical. On the other occasion, the FB user Rasim Aziz says:”Hey people, why did you start this argument about candidates? The dissolution of the parliament does not mean the dissolution of the rules!”
Meydan TV published the investigative material by the journalist Hafiz Babali about the corruption in SOCAR and enrichment of the sons and families of the functionaries of the oil company through their private companies. Link
People continue to discuss firing of “the old guards” by the president. The journalist Shahveled Chobanoglu while sharing the news about sacking notorious head of the social-political department of the administration Ali Hasanov, at the same time warns, that society will not be deceived by these firings, as these are not reforms and nothing is changing in people’s lives. Nurlan Libre jokes: “ Ali Hasanov is sacked… As a journalist whom should I now to brownnose to get a grant from??” The activist Taleh Khasmamadov mentions, that while many are aware of the property and riches of Ali Hasanov in the country, very few are aware of his fish factory in Russian city of Astrakhan, or the medical clinic in New York.
The Malta corruption scandal involving the murder of the investigative journalist continues to be discussed by the journalists and FB users. Ismayil Jalilov, the journalist in exile, mentions on his page: “ Malta’s criminal PM is resigning in a month… “ .. “ cannot wait for Muscat to start talking to investigators. Azerbaijan will come up quite often, I suspect”.
The FB users share the article by Ruzgar Movsum in Meydan TV called “The Azerbaijan’s gestapo” making parallels between the German gestapo in the 40s, and the current department of the fight with the organized crime, where they applied tortures to activists and other detained government critics. He writes: “ I think that one day, there will definitely be a museum of the agencies and the departments, which were applying tortures to Azerbaijani people, under the leadership of the regime and the party, which will become by then part of the history”.
FB users continue to discuss the issue of the president’s official refusal of the course on European integration. Gubad Ibadoglu posted an information about the inauguration of the completion of the gas pipeline TANAP by Azerbaijan and Turkey under the title “The European Integration goes on”, arguing that in spite of the official statements against the EU, both leaders are consistently integrating their countries in Europe through the gas supplies and infrastructure. Shahla Aliguliyeva comments on the president’s statement: “How does he know? We did not elect him. He doesn’t represent us. He doesn’t even interact with us. Only with our money and resources. No, really, how does he know that Azerbaijan is a «traditional» country? How does he know that we are not European? Just because we are pathologically silent?”
The most recent speech by the president Aliyev in the State University devoted to its anniversary is also shared and commented on by the FB users. He calls the traditional opposition – PFP and Musavat — “ a poisonous weed” and speaks about need in creation of constructive and loyal new opposition.