Center for National and International Studies
“The National Council declares that it will continue its struggle against the anti-democratic and anti-human activities of Ilham Aliyev‘s government despite all of the difficulties, persecution, and pressures that come with it…”
(Lack of ) Human Rights and Freedoms
The National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF) has released a statement regarding the escalating occurrences of torture in prison facilities. Instances of administrative violence and the mistreatment of inmates have once again surged in Azerbaijan. As per the most recent information made public, a few religious prisoners faced threats of sexual violence while incarcerated. The statement of NCDF reads: Administrative violence and torture have been weaponized throughout Aliyev’s rule. Ilham Aliyev did not hesitate to torture even the leaders of the political opposition and civil society. Ali Karimli, chairman of PFPA, the National Council Coordination Center and Musavat party member Tofig Yagublu, the late member of the National Council Ibrahim Ibrahimli, PFPA functionaries Fuad Gahramanli, Agil Maharramli, Babek Hasanov, Niyamaddin Ahmadov, Alizamin Salayev, social activists Bakhtiyar Hajiyev, Mehman Huseynov and many others, (hundreds in total) were subjected to severe torture on various occasions and under different circumstances. The terrible tortures inflicted on those arrested during Nardaran and Ganja incidents, the massive torture of soldiers in Tartar, as well as the extreme police violence against residents who protested due to environmental issues in Soyudlu village of Gadabay deserve a separate mention. The above facts are a testament to the fact that administrative violence and torture have become entrenched in Azerbaijani state policy. The recent re-intensification of torture at the level of state bodies indicates that Ilham Aliyev‘s government is not going to stop using this anti-human, illegal act as a coercion tool.”
The National Council is first and foremost calling on the international community and the democratic community of the world to adopt a firm position against the transformation of torture into a state policy in Azerbaijan. The people of Azerbaijan reject the mechanism of torture in the country, its orderers and executors, and want the authorities to put an end to this anti-human treatment. However, the repressive environment established in the country does not allow this public position to be expressed massively and openly.
The National Council declares that it will continue its struggle against the anti-democratic and anti-human activities of Ilham Aliyev‘s government despite all of the difficulties, persecution and pressures that come with this. The National Council calls on the people of Azerbaijan to support it more massively and more courageously in this struggle. “Our people should not come to terms with the current situation, and should not allow Ilham Aliyev‘s rule drag the country towards disaster for any longer”, concluded the statement.
Jafar Mirzayev, who was arrested on false charges after being deported from Germany, started a hunger strike. He demands compliance with the Readmission Agreement signed between the EU and the Republic of Azerbaijan, social support for his family living in deplorable conditions, and a meeting with representatives of Deutsche Botschaft Baku / German Embassy Baku. Exiled journalist Afgan Mukhtarov said that he “hopes that the German embassy will comply with Jafar Mirzayev’s request. According to Mukhtarov, Germany, the European Union, and the UN are morally responsible for the arrest of Jafar Mirzayev, Samir Ashurov, Mutallim Orujov, Malik Rzayev, Punhan Karimli and Emin Malikov who were arrested upon their deportation from Germany. To date, the European Union and the UN have not issued any statement condemning the regime for not complying with the readmission agreement. The Baku office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees have not responded to the inquiries.
Governance and Corruption
The son of the regional chairman of the ruling YAP Party faces allegations of committing a significant fraud. Shamil Jafarzade, son of Elchin Ismayilov, the chairman of the Goranboy district branch of the New Azerbaijan Party (YAP), has been taken into custody. Jafarzadeh’s arrest is related to charges of engaging in a substantial fraud scheme.
Lieutenant Colonel Javid Talibov, a member of the Sabail District Police Department in Baku, is facing accusations of making death threats against his wife and committing fraud against his father-in-law. Information obtained by Meydan TV reveals an ongoing investigation within the internal affairs authorities, initiated in response to a complaint filed by Major General Ramiz Nagiyev, his father-in-law. Ramiz Nagiyev has previously held various high-ranking positions within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, including the Head of the 7th Department, the Internal Investigations Department, the Chief Anti-Narcotics Department, and the Police Department. He is currently retired.
According to reports, the police lieutenant colonel stands accused of misappropriating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of his father-in-law’s property. As per his father-in-law’s account, the individual who purchased the property was supposed to pay initial instalment. However, Javid Talibov proceeded to receive 200,000 manat worth of quinces without his knowledge. Prior to this, Javid Talibov had sold the family’s residence on the former Inqilab Street for 400,000 manats. Subsequently, he left his family, and his father-in-law was left with a 200,000 manat debt. The person who bought the property had connections to Javid Talibov through his nephew, Murad Tagiyev, who works in the department responsible for liaising with law enforcement agencies at the Presidential Administration, a source disclosed.
Member of the APFP Fuad Gahramanli said the current anti-democratic environment and state-sponsored corruption is a threat to national security. Gahramanli’s Facebook post: The abolition of the electoral institution, the formal character of laws, and the suppression of political freedoms slow down the country’s development, increase poverty, and create a deep gap between the state and the public. This shows that the state of anti-democracy in the country is also our national security issue today. The authoritarian regime, which sacrifices the highest interests of the state to its interests in power and corruption, poses a great threat to the national security of the Azerbaijani state. For such a regime, nationalist slogans are only needed to instill in the society the policy pursued in the interests of the political regime in the name of national interests. That’s why today’s patriotic speeches in the power circles are not accepted sincerely by the public, everyone sees that such statements are aimed at instilling support and loyalty to the current regime, not the state.”
Musavat, ReAl and Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP) are among the latest parties that have been officially registered with the state agency. Before that, the ruling New Azerbaijan Party, AĞ Party, Civic Solidarity Party, and Azerbaijan National Independence Party were also registered in the state register. Nevertheless, the official registration of significant opposition parties has elicited a range of responses, with numerous independent journalists contending that, given the prevailing political climate, it seems improbable for any independent political party to achieve official registration without clandestine arrangements with the government behind closed doors.
Azerbaijan has concentrated its troops on the border with Armenia and on the contact line with Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that the situation is very tense at the moment. “During the last week, the military and political situation in our region has deteriorated significantly. The reason is that Azerbaijan has been gathering troops along the contact line of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border for several days. “The anti-Armenian hate speeches in the Azerbaijani press and propaganda platforms have become more intense,” Pashinyan said.
Commenting on the recent tensions on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, director of the Baku Research Institute Altay Goyushov said that neither Aliyev nor Putin want peace in the Caucasus. “The lack of peace in the Caucasus benefits both Aliyev and Putin. Aliyev definitely does not want peace. He had a great opportunity to achieve peace, but he didn’t take advantage of it, he chose a different tactic, and that tactic created the current situation. Why did he choose? Because Aliyev‘s priority is staying in power, and the constant emotional nationalist tension in this matter works to his full advantage. Saddam also used this tactic. But the point is that not even the Azerbaijani opposition wants peace. They entered the competition of nationalism with Aliyev. One day, they accuse Aliyev of preparing to sell Karabakh to Armenians, and the next day, they accuse Aliyev of not wanting peace, which is a primitive opportunism. In general, the Azerbaijani public does not know what it is doing, and it is just fooled by patriotism and anti-Armenian propaganda (like that new upside-down letter A). They don’t realize the prospect of tragic consequences if peace is not achieved. If peace fails it will be a devastation for the country. It is the ordinary people who will suffer most, not the people in power, or the opportunists in the opposition.”
September 12, 2023