Center for National and International Studies



“If the investigation is reopened, it is because individuals, family members of the victims, political commentators, analysts, politicians, activists, journalists, and others have written about it without fear”…”

(Lack of) Human Rights and Liberties

Political prisoner Saleh Rustamli stopped hunger strike after 41 days. In a telephone conversation with his brother, Rustamli said that he had ended the hunger strike because he was promised to be transferred to a civilian hospital and then released from there. Rustamli’s brother and opposition activists, who have been on a hunger strike for four days for his release, stopped the hunger strike at his request. Rustamli’s son Sezgin Rustamli said that his father suspended hunger strike only on the condition that he will be released. “I hope they (the authorities) will keep their word,” added Rustamli.

Azadlig newspaper reports that the member of APFP Sagif Gurbanov’s nose was broken by the police during the rally, but no one is looking into his complaint. Sagif Gurbanov, a member of the Presidium of the Popular Front Party (APFP), was injured by police during a rally on December 1 in Baku’s Fountain Square demanding the release of Saleh Rustamli, is not being considered.

The “Tartar case” will be reconsidered after numerous inquiries by prominent public figures and activists. The Prosecutor General’s Office decided to renew the investigation into the case. The authorities were finally forced to take into account the long-standing public protests, calls, and appeals on the issue. Reacting to the statement on the case by the General Office, activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev highlighted the concluding line at the end of the statement, calling it “a threatening message”. The statement noted that journalists, social media users, and witnesses will be prosecuted if they disseminate investigative information without permission. Hajiyev added that the General Office does not understand that if such selfless people, honest journalists, and social media users did not listen to those witnesses and write about it regularly, all those tortures would be covered up, and what happened in 2017 would not be re-investigated in 2021. “If the investigation is reopened, it is because individuals, family members of the victims, political commentators, analysts, politicians, activists, journalists, and others have written about it without fear,” said Hajiyev. The so-called ‘Tartar case’ involves gruesome torture of military personnel who were suspected of spying for Armenia in May and June of 2017. According to human rights activists such as Oktay Gulaliyev, more than 100 soldiers and officers were tortured, and nine died due to torture.

Member of APFP Tofig Yagublu informed his followers on FB that the government has launched a campaign of insults and slander against him. Yagublu wrote: this thief, robber, illegitimate, criminal, fake government possessing all the evil characteristics has launched a campaign of insults and slander against me using hacked Facebook pages and profiles. I am sure that those who are honest and sane will ignore these insults and lies. In order to prevent us from the glorious fight we are waging, the regime itself has fallen into this trap, let them fight there, and we continue our fight. Reject the government of Ilham Aliyev !!!”

Governance, corruption, transparency

The US State Department released the 2020 Terrorism Report on December 17. The Azerbaijani section of the report says that the country has demonstrated adequate capabilities in detecting and preventing terrorism. The State Department also noted that security services widely interpreted “terrorist” or “extremist” activities, which lead to political persecution, detention, ill-treatment, and torture of political opponents and religious activists. Such cases are said to have taken place mainly in the Interior Ministry’s Office for Combating Organized Crime. The Interior Ministry has repeatedly denied allegations of torture.

The first meeting of the new Executive Committee of the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan was held. Azer Aliyev (Ilham Aliyev’s sister Sevil Aliyeva’s son) was elected the new Secretary-General of the National Olympic Committee.

Post War Situation. Problems of veterans and families of the martyrs

Meydan Tv reports that according to Armenian sources, two Azerbaijani servicemen were captured yesterday. There has been no official information from the Azerbaijani side. Meanwhile, ten more Armenian prisoners of war captured in Kalbajar were handed over to the Armenian side.

Exiled journalist Afgan Mukhtarli wrote that the Aliyevs have been using political prisoners for their own political gains since 1994. According to Mukhtarli, now the Aliyev regime is using Armenian POWs and captives in its negotiations with the EU. “When needed, 5-10 captives are handed over as a gesture to Russians and Europeans…once the captives are finished, the political prisoners will be “traded.” EU should be ashamed of being part of this “trade” concluded Mukhtarli.

Azadlig newspaper reported on an incident that took place in Shamkir, in the Alley of Martyrs in Seyfali village, on the anniversary of Martyr Tabriz Namazov. The family members of Namazov brought a drone to record while commemorating. However, the civilian police interrupted the event, the drone was confiscated, and Namazovs’ home were searched. The martyr’s sister and mother were interrogated and taken into custody.

Economy and Social Issues

The government has once again officially stated that it does not intend to pay child support. Minister of Social Protection Sahil Babayev said that “because of the good demographic situation in the country, it is not possible to allocate so much money for child support.”

Reacting to Minister’s statement, the head of APFP Ali Karimli said that “there is enough money to pay child support, they just make use of this money under different names and transfer it to offshore accounts.”

Activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev also commented on Minister Babayev’s statement saying that the ministry is generous when giving tenders worth millions of manat to their companies but is thrifty when it comes to providing child benefits, cost only 100 manats a month per child.

December 21, 2021