Center for National and International Studies
“For years, this government has invented a myth to discredit the free media in the eyes of the people by spreading lies that the independent media is financed by the people abroad”…
(Lack of) Human Rights and Liberties
A member of the opposition Popular Front Party (APFP) Alizamin Salayev continues hunger strike in jail despite his declining health. Chairperson of the APFP Ali Karimli called on the public to be active in demanding Salayev’s release. Karimli: “Alizamin Bey’s 90-day “freedom or death” struggle should make us think, worry, and be a little ashamed. Is it possible that the regime did get the courage to destroy a brave political activist in front of our eyes in cold blood because of our indifference? As a nation, we must gather together and close this page of fear, indifference, and hopelessness in our history. We will make them regret if they hope to avoid responsibility by killing Alizamin Bey in front of our eyes with actual torture. Alizamin Bey should live and see the celebration of freedom and justice in this country. We demand freedom for Alizamin Bey!”
Khazar district resident, a veteran of the Second Karabakh War, Huseynzade Elchin Khalid oghlu committed suicide because he could not receive disability status, and his appeal was constantly ignored. A letter in which Huzeynzade stated the reason why he decided to take his life was found in his pocket. The prosecutor’s office is investigating the tragic death.
Governance and Corruption
Chairperson of the APFP Ali Karimli commented on the news about the construction of a new Congress Center in the Zangilan district, Karabakh region. Karimli said that the fact that no residential building has been so far constructed for the IDPs to return to their homelands, but the government has allocated millions for building a new conference center is a clear sign of systematic corruption. Karimli: “Did you know that the most important and urgent task in the liberated Karabakh territory is to build a Congress Center in Zangilan? You hardly knew. I admit that I didn’t know either. But Ilham Aliyev knew. Because only he knows what, how, and when to do. Therefore, a huge Congress Center is being built in Zangilan, where houses and social facilities have not yet been built. He went to inspect its construction. Since all the problems of the people of Zangilan have been solved, now Ilham Aliyev is building a 605-seat Congress Center and a 240-seat restaurant in Zangilan on 2.2 hectares of land. It is the construction of schools, hospitals and the creation of jobs that are essential for the return of the population. However, apparently, the most urgent task in Zangilan, where no one lives and will not live for a long time, is to build an airport and a Congress Center. But when will the Karabagli people who have been displaced from their homes return? Of course, there is no need to hurry. First of all, because large construction projects are very “beneficial”. Not a single family has yet returned to Karabakh, but they have already managed to write off 6.5 billion manats from the budget. Therefore, it is necessary to prolong this stage of large constructions as much as possible. Secondly, even if the population is not returned to Karabakh, the land does not remain empty and unused as a result of the care of the “hardworking” family business. They sow, reap, and direct the revenues to their offshore accounts. Because they know that the majority of our people are not involved in politics. We behave in such a way that we do not care about the plundered wealth and ruined human destinies. They also make the most of this opportunity. As the old saying goes, someone would have the shares of those who do not eat. They would not give rights to those who do not demand it.”
The meeting between the ministers of foreign affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Washington DC has concluded. Although the Azerbaijani authorities still have not informed the public about the 4-day negotiations in Washington, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that both sides achieved progress and the agreement on some articles of the draft peace agreement is underway.
Chairperson of the Azerbaijan Democracy and Welfare Party Gubad Ibadoghlu criticized the Ministry for not disclosing the details of the meeting. Ibadoghlu: “In my opinion, there is a difference of view in the negotiations regarding the rights and security of Armenians living in the territory of Karabakh, the borders between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the issues of 8 villages. Armenia wants an international status dialogue between Baku and Khankendi on the issue of rights and freedom of Karabakh Armenians so that they have guarantees and can control the obligations of the Azerbaijani authorities. Thus, Pashinyan states that “otherwise, this topic and agenda can be simply forgotten by Azerbaijan.” The main cause of concern in this matter is that the Azerbaijani authorities continue to grossly violate the rights and freedoms of their citizens. Therefore, the leader of the Karabakh separatists, Arayik Arutunyan, who made a statement after the Washington talks, called on the political leadership of Azerbaijan to reintegrate into the “civilized world, political culture, human rights, and democratic value system”. While the Azerbaijani government’s administration did not take real steps towards the democratization of the society and ensuring the freedom of the country’s citizens, the Armenians join the international world and use this card against Azerbaijan. It seems that the authoritarianism of the authorities in Azerbaijan will remain one of the main obstacles to solving the problem.”
MP Sabir Rustamkhanli proposed to investigate the supporters of Turkey’s People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in Azerbaijan. Chairman of the Civil Solidarity Party (VHP), Rustamkhanli appealed to the law enforcement agencies to deal with the issue: “Investigations should be conducted regarding HDP supporters living in Azerbaijan. It should be revealed who supports the terrorists.”
The internet TV channel RLC (Read Line Channel) has been removed from its office and its activities suspended. Samira Gasimli, the chief editor of the channel, told Meydan TV that” the RLC was touching the red lines of the current administration in Azerbaijan by close analyzing the activities of President Aliyev.” Gasimli also added that the reason the internet channel decided to rely solely on donations destroyed the myth about independent media outlets. “One thing that worried the government was that we planned to collect public donations. Because for years, this government has invented a myth to discredit the free media in the eyes of the people: “They are financed by the people abroad”, “They serve foreign forces,” “They take money from abroad and oppose the state and statehood,” etc. We would dispel this myth by receiving funding from the people themselves. The government considers receiving financial support from the people by highlighting the people’s problems as a big blow and a danger to itself.”
Exiled journalist Afgan Mukhtarli All media groups operating in the country must comply with Ilham’s standards. In the best case, those who do not swear allegiance will be kicked out of their office, and their electricity and the Internet will be cut off. Weapons will be found at the houses of those who resist, and drugs will appear out of nowhere in their cars.”
May 9, 2023