Center for National and International Studies
“Because if he gives a seat in parliament to a reasonable person, that person would ask about the properties in London…”
(Lack of) Human Rights and Liberties
Azadlig newspaper’s reporter journalist Fatima Movlanli who was detained while covering a rally in front of the Presidential Administration was beaten at the police station. She wrote about the incident: “We were detained by police during a rally in front of the PA. They took our phones and asked us to delete our reports. At the 9th police station, sergeants knocked me to the ground twice in front of the unit’s leader and kicked me. It was terrible.” Journalists Fatima Movlanli and Sevinj Sadigova were taken away by the police while covering the rally. They both were reportedly beaten and verbally attacked by the police.
Member of NCDF Tofig Yagublu called police brutality against the journalist the first outcome of the new Media Law. Yagublu: The law on “Media” has already begun to bear fruits. Journalists Sevinj Sadigova and Fatima Movlamli, who wanted to cover the protest in front of the Presidential Administration, were detained today. Because under the new law, they are not considered journalists.”
Azadliq newspaper reports that the chairman of the CP party, Ali Aliyev, remained in custody. Aliyev’s lawyer said that he was threatened with death in prison.
Exiled journalist Afgan Muktarli reported that the construction company Akkord has not been paying the wages of the hundreds of workers and engineers in Georgia. According to Muktarli, most of the workers are Azerbaijanis living in Georgia. Mukhtarli wrote: It is not enough that we are enslaved in Azerbaijan; Azerbaijanis are also oppressed in Georgia. The workers whose rights were violated held a protest rally in front of the Azerbaijani embassy in Tbilisi. Why can Akkord act so arbitrarily in Georgia? Because in Georgia, Akkord bribes the Ivanishvili government to win tenders. Because they are collaborating with Ivanishvili’s government.”
Meydan TV reports that in early January, former political prisoner Giyas Ibrahimov attempted suicide by setting himself on fire in front of the Presidential Administration building. Ibrahimov demanded that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decision that he was arrested illegally must be enforced by the Azerbaijani government. In 2021, the ECHR issued 36 rulings on Azerbaijan, requiring the Azerbaijani government to pay a total of about 2 million euros as compensation for illegal imprisonments. However, the government refused to implement the requirements of some court decisions.
Chief of the Presidential Secretariat of ANAS, doctor Eldar Gurban oglu Amirov, was detained. Amirov is the nephew of Ramiz Mehdiyev, who has recently resigned from the post of President of ANAS. Amirov had also worked as an assistant to Mehdiyev when the latter was the head of the Presidential Administration.
Governance, corruption, transparency
This week was also marked by bizarre statements by a number of MPs. The video that MP Tahir Karimli shared with the toy dinosaur caused public ridicule and criticism. The video showed the MP making an unaddressed populist speech. Moreover, a member of the ruling YAP, another MP, Malahat Ibrahimgizi, said that she was a member of parliament due to the trust shown by the president. Many activists, including journalist Mehman Huseynov, noted that this was a confession that, like the rest of the MPs, she sat at the parliament not as a result of elections but simply of an appointment by the president.
Member of NCDF Tofig Yagublu reacted to the statements by the MPs, saying that this is exactly what president Aliyev is expecting from the MPs. Yagublu wrote: You may look at Tahir Karimli and laugh, but Ilham Aliyev is proud that he did not make a mistake in giving him a parliamentary seat. He needs such parliamentarians to deceive the people. “Because if he gives a seat in parliament to a reasonable person, that person would ask about the properties in London…”
On Thursday, a group of truck drivers blocked the road in the center of Baku in protest against the head of the State Motor Transport Service Anar Rzayev and the head of the department Malik Aliyev. Azadliq newspaper reported that the drivers wanted to draw attention that the State Motor Transport Service did not issue a permit for transporting the goods. As a result, their goods were damaged, and their business went bankrupt. Drivers wrote on their cars to protest against the head of the Service Anar Rzayev and the head of the department Malik Aliyev.
Activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev said that it is the malfunctioning of the system that makes people take such steps. Hajiyev wrote: I am sure that these truck drivers and entrepreneurs who have products in the truck have repeatedly asked for permission through official and formal channels, but no one listened to them. In the end, they had no other option than to take this step, closing Aliyev Avenue until the morning. It is the officials, the system, including the person in charge, who bring people to this point.”
Meydan TV reported that a residential building in central Baku was demolished while the residents were still inhabiting it. The Ministry of Emergency Situations has issued a statement that the building was in an emergency situation, and this was the reason for the demolition. By order of Baku City Executive Power dated December 18, 2020, 1 hectare and a half area located at the intersection of Mirasadulla Mirgasimov, Khan Shushinsky, Imran Gasimov, and Mustafa bey Topchubashov streets in Nasimi district was leased to a private company for construction.
February 18, 2022