Center for National and International Studies
“Smart village” is not only a project of corruption but also serves to slow down the settlement in the territories freed from occupation and to reduce gas consumption.”
(Lack of) Human Rights and Liberties
Political prisoner, Agil Humbatov’s wife, was detained while she was making complaints at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Mrs Humbatova wanted to ask the minister Vilayat Eyvazov about the actions of the police officers investigating the criminal case against her husband. According to the lawyer Rufat Safarov, while Mrs. Humbatova was detained, her young child, who suffers from autism, was with her too. Mother and child both were forcibly put in a police car and taken to the police station. They both were released after writing an explanation at the 9th Police Station.
“Gündəlik Naxçıvan” (Daily Nakhchivan) reports that despite the summer vacation, teachers in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic are forced to go to work every day. The teachers are required to be at school till 3 pm although schools are closed for summer holiday. Regular inspections are carried out by the district education departments on whether teachers are on the job or not. Teacher Ganbarova, who works in one of the secondary schools in the Sharur district, said that the salaries of the teachers who are not at school during the inspection would be cut. “We are also human, we have the right to take vacations and rest, but they took this right away from us,” said Ganbarova. Another teacher from Shahbuz district, Bagirov, says that since his salary was low, he used to work in Turkey every summer, but after the introduction of the new requirement, he is not able to own extra money: “They pay us a salary a street beggar can make, and plus they want us to work even during holidays. You can’t live on a teacher’s salary. That’s why I used to go to work in Turkey every summer holiday, to earn an extra 5-10 manats and pay back my debts accumulated throughout the year. Now it is not possible. Before the summer vacation began, they said that there is no vacation, you have to come to school every day. There is no place to make complaints. Because this illegal decision was made by the Supreme Assembly.” The Ministry of Education of Nakhchivan AR confirmed that the teachers are at work but did not provide additional information.
Government, Transparency, Corruption
Azadliq newspaper reports that according to education expert Kamran Asadov for every portrait of president Aliyev sent to the schools 495 AZN is allocated from the budget. The cost of portraits caused outrage on social media. Chairperson of APFP Ali Karimli said that “in a country where the monthly stipend given to the martyr’s family is only 500 manats, and the monthly allowances of veterans are only 300-350-400 manats depending on the degree of disability, it is a shame to sell portraits of the head of state to schools for 495 manats each.” Accoridng to Karimli, many schoolchildren who are deprived of child benefit spend their days at school half-starved, some of them commit suicide as they cannot afford a schoolbag, while hundreds of school buildings are in hazardous condition.
Chairperson of ADWP Gubad Ibadoghlu commented on the issue saying that “while schools are not provided with the necessary equipments, and most of the school laboratories have equipment left over from the Soviet era, the portraits of both Ilham Aliyev and his father Heydar Aliyev are replaced with new ones every year.” “If Ilham Aliyev wants to prevent corruption and unnecessary spending from the budget, he should ban the hanging of his and his father’s portraits in schools and state bodies” said Ibadoghlu.
Azerbaijan has finalized the construction of an alternative road to the Lachin corridor. The total length of the new highway before entering the city of Lachin is 32 km. 10 km of it is located in the territory of Armenia. It is not known how much the Azerbaijani side spent on the construction of the road. An automobile bridge was also built along the road.
Meanwhile, another veteran of the Second Karabakh war, Ilkin Ismayilov, committed suicide by hanging himself from the building in the yard of his house. Born in 1998, he was from Amirvan village of Gabala. The reason for the suicide is unknown.
During his visit to Bagal, Ismayilli region president Aliyev said that Azerbaijanis of Armenian descent living in Khankendi and its surroundings will have no special status, no form of self-governance, and they will enjoy the same rights as all citizens of the country.
Commenting on the construction work in the Karabakh Region chairperson of ADWP Gubad Ibadoghlu said that “Smart village” is not only a project of corruption but also serves to slow down the settlement in the territories freed from occupation and to reduce gas consumption: “The aim here is to slow down the growing domestic demand for gas and sell more gas to Europe. In order to achieve the latter goal, IDPs will still have to live in their previous places, and 100-200 families will be resettled every year to create the illusion of return. That is why, even though Azerenergy and Azersu started operating in the liberated territories, Azerigas is not doing substantial work there. Because in the meantime, only selected villages are expected to be supplied with renewable energy. This is the real essence of the “Great Return” plan.”
The rules for accreditation of foreign media representatives in the Republic of Azerbaijan were approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Media lawyer Alasgar Ahmadoglu said that “the fact that the Law on Media (Article 11) sets strict requirements for foreign journalists contradicts the requirements of Article 50 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan.” According to the lawyer, the Azerbaijani Constitution recognized the freedom of information not only for citizens but for everyone. Moreover, Ahmadoglu said that “article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, ratified by Azerbaijan, recognizes the freedom of expression, including the freedom of information, and includes the freedom to receive and disseminate information and ideas without any hindrance by state authorities and regardless of state borders.” According to the new rules, foreign media representatives must wait 30 days for a response after submitting their request for accreditation. “It is easy to make rules and create restrictions on media activity, but it is very difficult to be smart and act in accordance with how the media works,” added Ahmadoglu.
Commenting on the opening of a new resort that is believed to belong to the first family, Gubad Ibadoghlu said that as long as the public “remains passive and silent,” the members of the ruling family will continue to expand their businesses. Ibadoghlu wrote: “Because the majority of people in Azerbaijan consider theft, looting, and corruption skills, as they say, “good for those who can!” Because there is no rule of law in Azerbaijan, the laws do not work, and the judiciary depends on the executive power. Because the Azerbaijani society’s sense of unity, solidarity, public condemnation, and responsibility for statehood is weak. Because the people of Azerbaijan do not want to fight to live the life they deserve and are satisfied with what they do not deserve. Because Ilham Aliyev is not afraid of the law or the court, he does not shy away from public criticism, today, he opens businesses belonging to his son, tomorrow to his son-in-law, and the next day to his employee. He turns the Central Bank into a branch of the family bank and presents all these to the public as his duties. How long will this last? All this and worse will continue to happen because we are not presented and because we remain passive and silent. Suddenly, we will wake up to find out that everything is gone, and then it will be too late, and it is already too late!”
Exiled journalist Afgan Mukhtarli reports that the diplomas of the Qafqaz University alumni are not recognized by the German state. A group of students from the university says that Germany considers the diplomas obtained in 2012-2018 invalid. Azerbaijani Ministry of Education has previously stated that Qafqaz University has been operating without a license since 2012 and many countries, including Germany, do not recognize diplomas based on this decision of the ministry. However, Mukhtarli added that “from 2012 until the university was finally shut down, it took part in the test and entrance exams organized by the State Committee for University Admissions in line with the order of the Cabinet of Ministers.” Mukhtarli wrote: “In addition, semester exams at Qafqaz University were monitored by the ministry, state exams were conducted by the commission approved by the Ministry of Education, and diplomas were awarded. The ministry is depriving hundreds of young people of education and job opportunities in Europe by providing false information. Students who applied to the ministry were told that their diplomas are not fake. However, the ministry refuses to issue a certificate and an apostille document confirming the authenticity of the diplomas. Two students were able to get a court decision on the recognition of diplomas. After that, the courts were forbidden to make positive decisions in cases related to diplomas of Qafqaz University. The same situation exists with the Ganja branch of the Teachers’ Institute.”
August 16, 2022