Center for National and International Studies
“People in both countries must understand that Russia is not bringing peace to the region, but blood.”
Post-War Situation. Is it a past or ongoing war? Is there an end to the war? Fear of another war?
The week has been marked with the clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan that resulted in at least eight causalities that is the worst fighting since the war of the last year. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry released the information on November 17 that seven Azerbaijani servicemen were killed and ten were wounded in military clashes on the border with Armenia on November 16. The ministry also shared the names of the servicemen killed in the fighting.
The causalities sparked outrage and anger in Azerbaijani society. The activists on social media criticized the government for bringing the Russian peacekeeping army to the region, with the majority believing that Russia never meant to bring peace.
According to the activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev, “unfortunately, what happened [yesterday] was neither the first nor the last.” Hajiyev argued that “such tragedies will be continuous as the two countries move closer to Russia, who is pitting the two countries against each other for its own interests.” Hajiyev wrote: In both countries, those in power must think about the well-being of their people in order to stay in power, and reckon with their own people, not with Russia. In both countries, politicians must rely on the people to come to power instead of praising Russia. In both countries, officials should see career advancement in the service of their people, not in the service of Russia. People in both countries must understand that Russia is not bringing peace to the region but blood. Maybe only then will we not receive such news, and families will not be devastated by the loss of their children.”
Head of APFP Ali Karimli reacted to the clashes on the border, sending his deep condolences to the mourning families of the deceased soldiers. Karimli wrote: It’s very unfortunate … We grief as the causalities are more than we expected. After “the enemy accepted the capitulation”, “after the Karabakh conflict ended”, we had severe losses in yesterday’s border battles with Armenia. According to the official statement of the Defense Ministry, seven servicemen of the Azerbaijani army were killed in yesterday’s battles.”
Journalist Seymur Hezi reacted to the recent clashes on the border calling the government to respond to the claims by Armenia officially. Hezi wrote: Aliyev said the war was over. If so, why our soldiers martyred? What kind of capitulation is it that takes the lives of seven soldiers? Armenian side informs the international community that Azerbaijan violates their border. Instead of responding to Pashinyan, the government limits its reaction to the level of the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The government is responsible for loss of lives.”
Journalist Afgan Mukhtarli argued that the current situation, to a larger extent, has a lot to do with the mindset. Mukhtarli wrote: It is evident that Russia intends to establish a military base not only in Nagorno-Karabakh but also in various parts of Azerbaijan, including the border from Lachin to Tovuz. The current wars and losses are all for the good of Russia. The leaders of both countries are Putin‘s puppets. In the meantime, poor children are sent to death. And those who return with a disability are left without any support or care.”
Governance, corruption, transparency
Investigative journalist Mehman Huseynov shared his latest investigation in which he has revealed illegal business owned by MP Javanshir Feyziyev. Huseynov also called on his followers to discuss the scale of corruption by the officials rather than their private lives. In the video, Huseynov shared many watchers commented on Feyziyev’s wife, especially the age gap between them. Huseynov reminded his followers: the subject is not the deputy’s wife. Our job is not to investigate their family relationships. We are not interested in whether the deputy’s wife is young or old. We are not interested in how many times this MP has married. This is their personal business. Don’t care about their age difference, and see what these people do to plunder the state budget.” Huseynov added that MP Feyziyev embezzled around 35 million manats from the state budget, yet local law enforcement agencies are silent despite the journalist’s continuous inquiries.
Human Rights and Liberties.
Activists and independent journalists keep demanding the immediate release of Saleh Rustamli, who was arrested on bogus charges. Azadlig Newspaper reports that Rustamli, who is on a hunger strike at the Penitentiary Service’s Medical Institution, told his relatives not to come to see him. His brother Taleh Rustamli told Azadlig after a meeting with a political prisoner on November 17 that he will not stop the hunger strike. “We are very worried about his fate, so we visit him every day and ask him to stop the hunger strike. He said he would not accept visitors after today’s meeting. We do not know what will happen in the end,” said Taleh Rustamli.
Meanwhile, there were appeals from political prisoners held in various prisons that in the coming days, if the case of Karabakh veteran Saleh Rustamli is not reconsidered fairly, they will all join the hunger strike. It is expected that not only political prisoners but also other prisoners will join the action. Last year, the Azerbaijani government faced a similar problem during the hunger strike of Karabakh veteran Tofig Yagublu and received significant pressure from both the local and international communities.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee also called on the Azerbaijani government to release Saleh Rustamli. Former political prisoner Tofig Yagublu said that if Aliyev had been honest enough to hear these calls, he would not have imprisoned innocent people in the first place.
Economy and Social Issues. Problems of veterans and families of the martyrs.
Activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev touched upon the social issues that the families of martyrs face. Hajiyev wrote that, according to the law, the families of the martyrs receive a lump sum of 11,000 manats which is around $ 6,500. Hajiyev wrote: 6,500 dollars for those who have just become young adults, most of whom have never had a chance to enjoy their life, and who grew up in poor households. And there is also a group of people who wears watches, belts, bags, and shoes that costs more than 6,500, and they share posts about those martyrs, hold their photos in their hands and say, “Long live the Motherland”.
Head of ADWP Gubad Ibadoghlu with a group of public and political figures held an online conference moderated by him. One year after the end of the 44-day Karabakh War, uncertainty over the return of IDPs to the liberated lands remains. This uncertainty, in return, raises questions in society and causes concern among IDPs. The online conference was devoted to the concerns of the IDPs and their return to Karabakh.
November 19, 2021