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Center for National and International Studies

 

FB Digest@VoxPOPULI

04.05.2020

The FB users continue to discuss the issue of government aid package, repressions of activists, social effects of the closure of four banks, arrestof the head of executive of the Bilasuvar region, clashes with police there.

Gubad Ibadoglu of ADR continues campaign on signing the petition for the state aid of 250 manats to every citizen by making a comparison of the aid packages in various countries with that in Azerbaijan. He mentions that for instance in Malaysia the government made concessions on the electricity tariffs, made the internet free, made direct transfers to the poor, students and state workers etc. In oil rich Alberta province of Canada electricity and gas payments were cancelled, Japan paid each of 126 mln.  citizens 930 dollars , while in the US – each of 80 mln population 1.200 dollars. In Azerbaijan 350 thousand unemployed spouses of which had a contract work, and those , and 100 thousand of those who had property or car – were refused an aid. In other words, number of those who did not receive an aid is many times greater than those 600, 000 who were eligible for aid.  Because the lists of those, who recevd that aid were not made public by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection— it is not known who had received that aid.

Seymur Hezi of PFP reports that legal defender Bahruz Bayramov was not allowed to meet with his defendant Ruslan Amirli. They said, it was Sunday. Hezi considers that in order not to satisfy public concern, they could have allowed him to meet with Amirli. The head of the detention center is authorised to do that.

Bakhtiyar Hajiyev comments ironically on the video depicting how the splash of the disinfectant from the machine in the street gets spilled through the window on the bus passengers. He repeats the phrase by one of the MPs: “ The coronavirus feels helpless before our state”” and comments further: the same way they managed 190 manat aid.

He also refers to the few quotations by the president Aliyev. 01 May 2020 – “in Azerbaijan nobody should get persecuted  due to its political views, membership, or activities” 01 May 2020  “ They demand bribe to be appointed to  the official position. This is a crime, which are directed to the shaking the basis of our society, these are dirty acts”. If the pandemic will go on, and the oil price will fall more, then in 1-2 weeks we may hear the following: “ we cannot allow the falsification of elections. I even was told that in the constituency where I was running from the bulletins were thrown under the table to some Arpadarai, and these votes were added to the total number of her votes. What is it? Which century do we live in? What kind of excuse do they find for that? It is almost like the Mexico cartel in the 80s in appropriating the victory of the others. This is absolutely unacceptable and we should wage an ultimate struggle with that!”

Gullu Jangirova comments on repressions: “ Every morning starts with the news about detention of the Popular Front Party members, but you will be held responsible! PS. I miss Saadet khanum very much. But they like bandits have expropriated all means of communication from her house. Sorry, not “like” bandits, they are indeed BANDITS!”

Ordukhan Babirov comments.

Ilham Aliyev— you are personally behind all these cases of arbitrariness, corruption  and falsification… And the only way out for the people is in their solidarity. Freedom is in our own hands!

Natig Jafarli of REAL writes about the government understanding of reforms:” The government  avoids speaking about systemic problems, that’s why it takes it to the level of cadres- and the message is “ we will sack bad cadres, replace them with the good ones and everything will change!” And this is a myth and in fact  Stalin type of approach, he also used to say : “ That everything is sold with cadres”. However, the human history proves that most important is a system, the rules of the game, just laws, competition, choice opportunities. Some of opposition also thinks that clean name is important, and it is enough to replace bad YAP cadres by the good opposition member so it will change everything. And this is also a mistaken approach- there are many pure and decent people in the opposition camp, but after 2 months in power the system will take over them, because they will not understand the degree of complexity of the problems, cannot measure their depth etc. The tragedy is that this is impossible to conduct more serious and deep discussions- because most of them are “ black-white”  and quite primitive. PS Lately there are many status postings where they tag me, with the wish for the authoities to appoint me a minister. But as I said I do not believe that changes of cadres can resolve anything, and who would agree to work for 1,400 manat anyway. And if work from home with FOREX customers I will earn twice as much as I get if I was a minister”

He also stresses, that if one follows the speeches of the president and the MPs, bureaucrats in 2015-2016  then he/she will notice that they stress the damage from the corruption, arbitrariness of the executives in the regions etc. But there is no analysis of the reasons at all.  Today they speak again about the same problems, and their results- but – again – not about the reasons. And the interesting thing is that the problems are recalled every time when the price of oil goes down- as if the oil is the government’s memory card. And if tomorrow ( lets fantasize) the oil price will go up, the problems will be quickly forgotten, and the reasons will not be discussed at all…” He also notes the contradiction in the words of president who declared that in Azerbaijan nobody can be persecuted for their political views or activities with the reality. “ What if all the bureaucrats will stand up and admit that all the persecutions were a mistake? Then it will contradict the statement of the president, will it?”

Ali Karimli posts a statement.

He reports that his internet on the mobile phone was restored but not on the computer. He also reports that since 17 of April SAZZ company who promised to give an answer about the modem they sold in three days did not fulfil its promise, although 15 days passed.  Attention: all my internet platforms  were either taken away from me or are used parallel to mine. Based on what he learnt once he got an access to the internet he produced some ideas:

  1. The attack on National Council and Popular front is the result and a revenge for our demands to give a state aid to the people who are in poverty and whose rights are violated. But not only that. This is also a revenge for keeping alive principled opposition, in spite of all repressions, expression of fear of day by day increasing probability of the social protests, attamept to punish the opposition which is unwilling to fit intothe frames which were defined by Ilham Aliyev.
  2. The tortures of the pure, brave and true citizen Niyameddin Ahamdov, which lasted for days, caused indignance of all people with conscience. I fully condemn the groundless interrogation and accusations of the poet and the member of the Board of the Popular Front Party Saadet Jahangir and dozens of my party members, detained based on bogus charges of violation of the quarantine rules.
  3. Last years the government has been trying to eliminate PFP under various excuses and artificial and not serious accusations. This time again there was another one- I state with full responsibility PFP has nothing to do with the owner of the youtube channel Gabil Mammadov. I do not even know him personally. In capacity of National Council we refused of speaking at his channel. Not only with his, but we do not have any connection with anyone who uses curses in their vocabulary. We have always condemned the curses. I have appealed many times in my video speeches to such people to abandon their rhetoric.
  4. The financial support for the PFP and Ali Karimli has been used for accusations of many people. Besides my friend Saleh Rustamzade we never took money from any of those people ( and even this one was exaggerated and falsified as the public knows). All the charges of financing are trumped up ones, as our party has not had any expenditures- we were active without any support. Lately volunteers who want to help the families of the political prisoners have contacted the party and donated.
  5. Dear friends, our struggle is not about money and resources. If it was – then we would not be in opposition to those, who have them, but will build cooperation with them. We have repeatedly refused the proposals to cooperate and share the resources with them. Our struggle is about freedom and justice for every citizen. It is about establishment of the dignified life and all human values in Azerbaijan too.
  6. The quarantine period has shown clearly again, that the government is not capable to resolve the crisis situation. You know better than myself what kind of excuses they found not to give people the 190 manat aid. We were right- the number of those who were in need of such aid at least is 6-7 million and the state had enough resources for that. Unfortunately, the decline of oil price will aggravate social tension. Repressions and arrests are not the way out. The people’s dissatisfaction will increase with time. The way out is to start urgent and serious reforms.
  7. I will specify: neither PFP, nor National Council refuses the idea of dialogue of government and opposition. Quite in contrary, we demand deep reforms. Many times we have called for the discussion of the all national problems and the dialogue for their solutions and are always open for that. But we are against the discrediting of the true reforms by its demagogy, and of the dialogue by its imitation.
  8. I express my gratitude to the leadership of the PFP and National Council, who did not changed their principled position, in spite of numerous arrests, all opposition parties and movements, my colleagues in the party, independent politicians and public leaders, who raised their voice and people’s support to our struggle, in spite of the conditions of strict authoritarianism.
  9. I am fully convinced that to eliminate true opposition movement at the expanse of people’s support is not possible in the country. The authoritarian and repressive governance has exhausted itself  and it does not already even patches., as it is not capable of resolving the key problems sin the country. The political and economic reforms in the country are inevitable. Even if we have losses and sufferings on this way, in the end people will bury all the obstacles and will enjoy long awaited freedom and justice.

PS after sharing this statement, the internet connection of Ali Karimli was cut off again.

Gozel Bayramli reports “ from the Front Line series. They have spoken to the wife of the PFP activist Agil Humbatov, who has been put in psychiatric clinic because of his critical interview, and said that although he was scheduled to be released on the 2nd of May, they extended his time there for another month.  In such case Agil Humbatov will start hunger strike, as he told.

The other news from the Front Line series by Gozel Bayramli is that the activist of the PFP  Garadagh region’s branch Elvin Mammadov got a phone call and was asked to come to his work place. He left and was never seen again. He has been already monitored and followed by the police for 2-3 days before that, and even said that they will follow him until his home.Most probably he was detained with the same charges as the other members of the PFP.

Gozel Bayramli also wishes happy birthday to the activist of the Popular Front Party  Zafar Ahmadov. She speaks about his great contribution to the party’s activities and development and his special personality — always on the side of truth, of those, whose rights were violated and is an example for many people. He has done a lot for protection of rights of political prisoners. His son, Fuad Ahmadli is already for the 4th year in prison. He was arrested on bogus charges  and only because of his political activities and because he was a functionary of the PFP. There are few months for his prison term end. She also stresses special personal traits of his son Fuad Ahmadli – principled, intellectual, patriotic, struggling for the future of Azerbaijan- which are also inspiration for the other young people. She expresses best wishes on behalf of the Popular Front family, who is proud of him.

She shares an information by Ganimat Zahid  who reports about ongoing tortures of the PFP activist Niyamaddin Ahmadov. Zahid in his comments calls the government : “ the savage herd”.

Altay Geyushov comments on the statement by the government, that Azerbaijan is the least to have suffered of coronavirus of all states. “ Of course, when all other states have helped their citizens, you have collected money from people for the Fund!”

Gubad Ibadoglu writes on his timeline:

It looks like we have corona, but not the virus. Today the world has a dilemma- to open economic activities, or keep pandemic under control.

Azerbaijan has given already the answer to this dilemma – starting from today it softens the quarantine regime  and allows some trade and economic activities. Gubad Ibadoglu shows that from the 27th until now there were 287 new cases of infected while 302 recovered. It is evident that at the first stage of softening of quarantine regime number of recovered exceeds number of infected by 15. This is a positive dynamic, but brittle, because the differnece between these two indicators is 5%. This in turn indicates that the risk of opening of the quarantine regime from the 4th May is quite high. I would like to think that this decision came not because of some metarial interests, but due to the concern for the health and security of the people. Because the economics also serves the people. Thats why one should control pandemic. But I doubt, that the security and health is the motivation, because the percent of the recovered in the world is 32,2%, Russia 12,3%,  USA 15%, Georgia 37,8%, Turkey 50%, while in Azerbaijan 74,5% / By this indicator Azerbaijan is behind only Germany, China and South Korea. I wish I could be convinced that the government  is not decieving people an dgives them a correct information.  It looks like we have corona, but not the virus. Do you beleive that the diffrenece between number of infected and number of recovered is increasing?

Yadigar Sadyghli of Musavat recalls and comments with irony: “In 2017 the deputy Premier and a chair of the Committee on Refugees Ali Hasanov said that by 2020 there will not be a single poor person left. Thank God they did not manage to kill all, there is a plenty of poor people here.”

Seymur Hezi  shares posting by Agil Humbetov’s wife, where he decsribes the conditions of the psychitaric clinic he is in. “ I consider it my duty to make the situation in the clinic public. The psychitaric clinic number 1 is very bad, and anti-sanitary. The patients are kept there in very hard conditions. They are not treated as human beings, they are forced to work, carrying stones and bricks. I saw old person hardly carrying bricks. True I was not treated rudely by doctors. But the conditions are really poor. Totally antisanitary – one cannot even enter there. There are more virus there than in the garbage place.Be afraid of God — improve the place! There is no even the hint on meat in the food there. Do not exloit the patients, renovate the place. There are all the  conditions for a virus there!”


Май 5, 2020