Center for National and International Studies



“Russia is gradually increasing its control over Karabakh and controls it as its governorate…”                                                                             

(Lack of) Human Rights and Liberties

Member of the Musavat Party and the National Council of the Democratic Forces, Tofig Yagublu, who is currently in administrative detention, was not given the opportunity to meet privately with his lawyer. Yagublu’s daughter Nigar Hezi, said that the police officer did not leave the room during her father’s meeting with lawyer Bahruz Bayramov on January 3. “This is a gross violation of the law, and we will appeal to the court”, Nigar Hezi added. According to his daughter, Tofig Yagublu is not allowed to receive food sent by his family. Hezi’s Facebook post: “If the administration of the penitentiary institute cannot provide the detention center with decent food, they should remove the restrictions on the receiving food from outside. I still don’t understand why fruit is banned in prison. In 2019, when I brought fruit to my dad at the detention center, they made an absurd excuse about the prohibition of the fruit. They said that the prisoners were littering the cell with fruit. Vilayat Eyvazov, is responsible for Tofig Yagublu‘s health.” Tofig Yagublu was detained during the rally held to protest the arrest of the activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev.

Commenting on the detention of Yagublu, chairperson of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP) Ali Karimli said that “the public should express support for Yagublu and our protest against the government that illegally arrested him.”

21-year-old Karabakh War veteran Maharramov Parvin Rasim oghlu, who set himself on fire in front of the police station in Salyan, died in the hospital.

Commenting on the anniversary of the antigovernment protests in Bananyar village, which were violently crushed by the government, exiled journalist Afgan Mukhtarli said that president Aliyev is personally responsible for the gross violation of human rights. Mukhtarli’s Facebook post: “The violence against the participants of the rally in the village of Bananyar took place on the instructions of Ilham Aliyev. This cruel and bloody crime is not only Vasif Talibov‘s illegal act and arbitrariness. The incident happened on January 5, 2010. Diplomats (USA and Norway) who wanted to visit Bananyar were not given permission. The attack on the diplomats strained relations with the United States and Norway, and both countries demanded security for their diplomats. Despite such a serious crime, international protests, and diplomatic scandal, on January 13, 2010, Ilham Aliyev awarded Vasif Talibov with the Order of Honor. And then he sent a message to the whole world that the protest in the village was suppressed on his personal order. Now, the vast majority of those who remember the events for some reason doesn’t mention Ilham Aliyev.” In January 2010, a  day after the religious ceremony Ashura, at least a hundred residents of Bananyar village were arrested. Although international organizations such as the Council of Europe strongly criticized the government for its brutal treatment of the protestors, the authorities did not properly investigate the case.

Governance and Corruption

Chairperson of the APFP Ali Karimli said that trolls of the government attack his social media accounts with comments that are mostly in the Russian language. Karimli: “In recent months, trolls have written a large number of comments on my posts and video interviews in Russian. Under each of my posts on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, there are sometimes hundreds of troll comments written in Russian. There is no doubt that these comments were written by the same people in a single center and then posted to the comment section through various fake accounts. For whom are these Russian comments written, and why are there so many of them? Lately, the number of comments written by the trolls in Russian on my posts has increased. Besides calling myself and the political circle I belong to radicals, they praise the authorities and then move on to insulting those who support Ukraine and promote “the correct” policy of the Russian and Azerbaijani authorities. A troll who receives money from the government writes whatever he can against me. We understood that somehow. That’s basically why they are paid. But why do they insult the supporters of Ukraine and praise the Russian policy in the troll comments written in Russian? Does it mean that the authorities have already reached the point where they have written commissioned comments in favor of Russia and then report them to Russia?”

Economist Zohrab Ismayil said that Russia had violated the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea by attacking Ukraine using missile-carrying ships in the Caspian Sea. Ismayil wrote on Facebook: “Yesterday, for the first time since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, Russia launched missiles from missile-carrying ships in the Caspian Sea into the territory of Ukraine. Previously, Russia fired missiles from the Caspian region only from airplanes, now, ships are used for this purpose. This is a violation of Article 3, Part 2 and Article 11, Part 6 of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea. Moreover, this is also a source of potential danger for Caspian littoral countries, especially Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, which are located near missile-carrying ships. However, non of these countries have commented on the matter yet…”

Member of the APFP Fuad Gahramanli said that Russia is gradually increasing its presence in the Caucasus region, violating the trilateral agreement of November 2020. “Blinken’s announcement that he will call the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia again is a counter attempt to resume peace talks and shows that the US has no intention of coming to terms with the situation created by Russia. Because this issue is not only a desire for peace, peace is also a geopolitical tool in the hands of the West to remove Russia from the South Caucasus. Therefore, in 2023, the United States will be more persistent on this issue due to geopolitical reasons, and whichever party violates the rule will also have to face adequate pressure as the protector of Russia’s interests. Today, it seems that Armenia is seriously trying to turn itself into the main partner of the West in the region by leaving Russia, which has become a loser in the global conflict. Unfortunately, although Azerbaijan acts as a partner of Russia, it does not get any real results in the direction of ensuring its sovereignty over Karabakh. In this regard, it has not yet been clarified at the official level how the protests on Lachin road will end. On the contrary, Russia is gradually increasing its control over Karabakh and controls it as its governorate.”

Ilham Aliyev signed a decree increasing the minimum monthly salary from 300 manats to 345 manats and the minimum amount of the pensions from 240 manats to 280 manats. According to official figures, the prices increased by 20% last year, while independent experts argue that the real increase in inflation is over 40%.

January 6, 2023