Center for National and International Studies



“The OSCE report on the presidential elections was objective but could have been more assertive, suggesting that the organization could have expressed its opinions more directly in the report…”

(Lack of) Human Rights and Freedoms

Elzamin Salayev, a political prisoner, conveyed a message to his friends, revealing that he is experiencing pressure while incarcerated, and there are indications of potential provocations against him. Salayev expressed his concern that if the pressure persists, he may feel compelled to initiate another dry hunger strike. Given his pre-existing heart condition, instigating a dry hunger strike would pose a direct threat to his life.

Relatives of the journalists detained in the “Abzas Media” criminal case are denied communication. Relatives of the journalists implicated in the “Abzas Media” case are being prevented from communicating with them. Ulvi Hasanli, the founder of “Abzas Media,” has been unable to engage in phone conversations with his family since his arrest on November 20, and family visits have been prohibited. Similar restrictions have been imposed on other journalists detained in connection with the same case, as reported by their legal representatives. The ban, imposed by the Baku City Main Police Department, has been upheld by the courts, although the lawyers argue that it lacks justification in both court decisions and the investigative process, violating the rights of the detained journalists.

Activist Mohyeddin Orujov remains subjected to inhumane treatment in the prison, according to his family. Items essential for his well-being, such as clothing, books, and other necessities provided by his family, have been withheld and not returned. The penitentiary service refuses to give the items to the young activist by arguing that he would not need them.  Orucov is held in the Shuvalan Detention Center, where, despite the capacity of the cell having beds for 10 people, there are currently 18 occupants following a rotational schedule.

Nigar Hezi, the daughter of imprisoned opposition figure Tofig Yagublu, has revealed that her father’s personal belongings have not been returned to the family since his arrest. According to Hezi, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, particularly investigator Abdulla Jalilov from the Narimanov Police Department, refuses to return the family’s belongings. Since Tofig Yagublu‘s arrest, his personal bank cards and veteran card have not been returned to the family. Additionally, there is no information about the phone they confiscated from her mother. Hezi said, “it appears that the money police have planted in their house is not enough, and now they are eyeing Tofig Yagublu‘s veteran card, focusing on the 5-10 manats in his account.” Calls to Investigator Abdulla Jalilov go unanswered, with responses promising information. “Arresting Yagublu on trumped-up charges and still confiscating his band cards and veteran pension is immoral”, said Hezi. As a family of political prisoners, they need to take food to the prison every week, and with the current situation it is getting even challenging. Hezi demanded the return of belongings of Tofig Yagublu and Maya Yagublu to the family.

Another tragic incident occurred as a young veteran attempted to take his own life. Sabran Asgar oglu Mammadov, a resident of Malikqasimli village in Jalilabad and a participant in the April battles, was honored with a bravery medal during the Second Karabakh War. Yesterday evening, Mammadov attempted suicide by pouring 1 liter of gasoline on himself. Mammadov, who used to drive an old car, supported his family by working as a taxi driver. However, the police confiscated his vehicle, worsening his financial struggles. Overwhelmed by debts and left without resources, the veteran resorted to this tragic decision. He is currently in critical condition at Jalilabad hospital, where the police have surrounded the premises, restricting access to anyone trying to assess or document the veteran’s situation.

Post-election situation

The swearing-in ceremony of President Ilham Aliyev of the Republic of Azerbaijan occurred at the National Assembly (Parliament). Subsequently, the Cabinet of Ministers submit their resignations. As per Article 116 of the Constitution, on the day the newly elected President assumes office and commences the exercise of his powers, the Cabinet of Ministers presents their resignation to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In accordance with Article 118 of the Constitution, the President nominates the Prime Minister with the approval of the National Assembly. The President submits the proposal for the Prime Minister’s candidacy for parliamentary consideration within one month of assuming duties or within two weeks of the Cabinet of Ministers’ resignation. The National Assembly makes a decision on the Prime Minister’s candidacy no later than one week from the day the proposal is presented.

However, despite the completion of the presidential election, the OSCE‘s final report, which observed the electoral process, is still being discussed on social media. Political analyst Azar Gasimli told Meydan TV that, in his opinion, the OSCE report was objective but could have been more assertive, suggesting that the organization could have expressed its opinions more directly in the report. It is emphasized that the document in the final report was crafted with a broad overview. Gasimli stated, “In the future, armed with concrete evidence from the OSCE report, Western nations might have acknowledged the illegitimacy of Ilham Aliyev. However, had the OSCE taken a more stringent stance today, Western leaders might have promptly refrained from recognizing the results of the elections and the win by Ilham Aliyev.”

A breach of the ceasefire occurred on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border, resulting in casualties. “On February 13, responding to the provocation by the Armenian Armed Forces the previous day, units of the Azerbaijani State Border Service (SBS) conducted an operation. In its statement, the SBS said that, the combat post near the Nerkin-And residential area in the Qafan region, which had opened fire on Azerbaijani servicemen, was completely destroyed. The Armenian Ministry of Defense confirmed the death of four soldiers. According to the Armenian Ministry of Defense, in addition to the soldiers who were killed, several others were wounded in the exchange of fire with the Azerbaijani side along the border. Armenia reported that positions in the village of Nerkin Xand in the southern Syunik region were fired upon starting from 5:30 am on February 13. The State Border Service (SBS) declared on February 13 that a “retaliatory” operation, described as a response to the “attack carried out yesterday,” was conducted against the positions of the Armenian armed forces.

February 16, 2024