Center for National and International Studies
“Before the war and after the victory, the citizen of Azerbaijan was nobody in the eyes of the authorities and remains so.”
(Lack of) Human Rights and Liberties
Elzamin Salayev, the chairman of APCP Salyan District Branch, was sentenced to administrative detention for one month. Azadliq newspaper reports that Salayev started hunger strike (he refused even drink water) in protest against this illegal arrest and the non-fulfillment of his pre-arrest demands.
Veteran Khayal Abbasov served in the Special Forces of the Internal Troops for seven years, said that the authorities refused to grant him disability status. He was injured during the battles in the direction of Mount Murov. Abbasov, who was seriously injured three times, and still cannot receive a disability degree, lives under the care of his parents with his two young children.
“Promotion of Human Rights and Laws” and “Anti-Torture Research Center” human rights organizations jointly issued a report on the illegal and politically motivated arrest of activist Abid Gafarov. The statement reads: Abid Gafarov, the chairman of the Baku Unity Organization, an investigative journalist, who played a special role in exposing the “Tartar Case” crime, was charged on July 13, 2022, on the basis of the accusation by a group of people, according to Articles 147 and 148 of the Criminal Code was sentenced to a year and a half imprisonment. The current governmental crisis in the country, the application of mafia “laws” in some state institutions, the peak of criminalization in the military and other power structures, the fact that the courts are formal, the neglect of the population in local executive bodies and the failure to ensure the socio-economic rights of citizens, the humiliation of dignity has become widespread in Azerbaijan. This situation is the main reason for the suicides of veterans, mysterious military deaths, suicides, and life-threatening events.”
Commenting on the rising rate of suicide among veterans and human rights abuse, columnist Zardust Alizade said that in the eyes of authorities, ordinary Azerbaijani citizen has no value. Alizade wrote: “If someone thought that after the 44-day war and the historic victory, respect for the people of Azerbaijan and the basic rights of the citizens would be increased, they have deceived themselves. Before the war and after the victory, the citizen of Azerbaijan was nobody in the eyes of the authorities and remains so. Whether it is a worker or a farmer, it does not matter, in the eyes of the authorities, and for them, it is possible to talk with citizens only in the language of violence.”
Government, Transparency, Corruption
The National Council issued a statement regarding the rally to be held with the demand of opening the land borders. The National Council reminds the Baku City Executive Authority and other related institutions that freedom of assembly is a right guaranteed by Article 49 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, international agreements to which the Republic of Azerbaijan is a party, including Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and the restriction of this right is illegal. The statement reads: “The failure of the authorities to justify keeping the land borders of our country closed, or the fact that this measure is presented as a concern for the health of the population, causes the rightful dissatisfaction of the citizens of the country. The direct connection between the closing of land borders and the fantastic high level of AZAL flight prices indicates that this step, like all the policies of the government, only serves corruption and the interests of the ruling family getting richer.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and representatives of the EU Parliament visit Azerbaijan to sign a new gas deal. “Today, with this new memorandum of understanding, we are opening a new chapter in our energy cooperation with Azerbaijan, a key partner in our efforts to move away from Russian fossil fuels,” Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday. President Aliyev stated that he is ready to sign the agreement on further cooperation with the EU. Commenting on the visit of von der Leyen, member of APFP Fuad Gahramanli said that “if a cooperation agreement with EU is signed, Azerbaijan will need to reconsider its politics of human rights and democracy.” Gahramanli wrote: “The agreement has been under discussion since 2017, and until today, the Azerbaijani authorities delayed the signing of the document precisely because of the obligations related to human rights and democracy, as well as the demand to limit the activity of economic monopolies. Last year, the European Parliament adopted a resolution that it would not ratify the document if the provisions related to democracy and human rights were not included. By saying that we are ready to sign this agreement, Ilham Aliyev announces that he has to accept these demands and that he is ready to cooperate with the EU in the future. It is clear that this is not his personal and political desire but the reality that has arisen since the relationship between Putin and the West is worsened. However, Ilham Aliyev is taking steps toward the West very slowly, without completely breaking away from Russia, so that he is not immediately approached with demands for democracy, and the main attention is directed to the issue of his separation from Putin. Even though this position of his is temporary, he kept the demand for democratic reforms in the past. However, today’s geopolitical conditions are such that it will not be possible to prolong the issue for a long time. Because Russia’s defeat on the Ukrainian front is expected to happen by the end of the year.”
According to the Azadliq newspaper, on Monday, two young girls committed suicide. A 15-year-old committed suicide in Shamakhi, and a 23-year-old girl took her own life in Gabala. Member of NCDF Gultakin Hajibeyli said that “living in this country is a torment for everyone, especially for women.”
Ilham Aliyev said at the meeting dedicated to the end of the six months of this year that “the income of the population has increased by about 20 percent, and wages have increased in the last period. The Minister of Labor and Social Protection Sahil Babayev said that “the minimum pension has been increased by 20 percent to 240 manats, the average pension has increased by 11 percent to 364 manats, and the pension of elderly persons has reached 395 manats.” However, the statements both by the president and the minister was not accepted well by the independent economists and the opposition. Chairperson of the ADWP Gubad Ibadoghlu said that, “the expenses of the unemployment fund for 2022 are 181.38 million manats and 8.5 million manats is intended as unemployment insurance payments, which, even if implemented 100 percent, does not cover even 1 percent of the unemployed.” Ibadoghlu said that the official statistic on the level of unemployment and wages is far from the reality.
Safar Mehdiyev was dismissed from the position of chairman of the State Customs Committee. Answering a question about the reason for his dismissal Mehdiyev said that “if Mr. President has decided so, it is inappropriate to add anything.” Ali Jahangirli, deputy head of the customs department of the South Territories under the Customs Department of the State Customs Committee, committed suicide. The incident took place on July 13 in the house where he lived in Rüdekanar village of the Astara region. Moreover, one of the closest friends of Mehdiyev, the head of the main operation and investigation department, Major General Masum Eynali oglu Rasulov, was detained as a result of a special operation. Chairperson of NCDF Jamil Hasanli said that “for some reason, all of the officials who were appointed by Aliyev first receive an order for their service and then get arrested for corruption.” Hasanli wrote: “Ilham Aliyev awarded the order “for service to the country” to all those who destroyed the country by bribery and corruption and awarded some with the medal “For bravery” and others with the medal “Progres”” so that they bravely prevent progress. There are still a large number of officials awarded with these orders and medals who “serve” the motherland by brave corruption.”
Azadliq newspaper reports that the Maltese police have issued an arrest warrant for Alisadr Hasheminejad, who was the head of Pilatus Bank, which was established in Malta with the financial assistance of the ruling families Aliiyevs and Heydarovs.
July 19, 2022