Center for National and International Studies
“The historic decision by the Azeri parliament to open an embassy in Israel is a significant step forward in the relationship between Israel and Azerbaijan…”
(Lack of) Human Rights and Liberties
Amar Huseyn, a resident of Karabaglar village in the Kangarli district of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, was summoned to the police, and 20 tons of grain was taken from his property. According to Huseyn, on the instructions of the executive head of the district, Kemal Alekbarov, they called him a “traitor”, dismissed him first from the YAP (ruling party), and then from the university where he worked as a professor, and confiscated his father’s veterinary pharmacy. In 2020, Amar Huseyn was an independent candidate in the elections to the Supreme Assembly of the Nakhchivan AR. Huseyn says that even though he won the election, the results were falsified, and his victory was taken away from him. Since then, he started fighting for his rights but has been subjected to political repression because he was a candidate for the parliament against the will of the executive head of the district.
Rufat Bakirov, a resident of the Binagadi district of Baku, has been seeking justice for a criminal case opened against him. Bakirov said that his appeals were rejected without any grounds. According to Bakirov, on September 24, 2017, Chief Lieutenant Khanjanli Togrul, who works in the Technical Department of the State Security Service, stopped him when he was driving his car in the Nizami district, and there was an argument between them, and the lieutenant showed his license and threatened to arrest him. Bakirov says that Khanjanli hit him in the right eye, injuring him, and there are medical documents proving it. However, neither the police nor the prosecutor’s office could make a decision on the initiation of a criminal case, even though there was a criminal act. Rufat Bakirov requested that the issue be resolved at the court level, but contrary to his request Bakirov himself was sentenced to administrative imprisonment. Bakirov said that he is threatened with long-term imprisonment, and he has already sent two related court cases to the European Court of Human Rights.
Azadliq newspaper reported that hundreds of people had to wait in the traffic jam as the roads were closed due to president Aliyev’s decision to have dinner at a restaurant in the Bayil district of Baku. “They closed all the roads from Bayil district to Azneft district for more than 1 hour. They don’t even let buses and ambulances move. I approached the police and asked why they stooped the traffic, and he said that the head of the country is having dinner in a restaurant located in the Bayil area”, said one of the residents.
Governance and Corruption
Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other again of provocation on the border. The Ministry of Defense of Armenia issued a statement and claimed that a soldier was injured as a result of the fire opened by the Azerbaijani armed forces. The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan released a statement and noted that “from 09:55 to 14:45 in the morning, the illegal Armenian armed forces in the territory of Azerbaijan, where the Russian peacekeeping contingent is temporarily stationed, were observed to be carrying out measures in order to strengthen their combat positions in the territories of Aghdam and Khojaly.” The Ministry stated that such activities are a violation of the requirements of the tripartite statement signed by the Presidents of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation, and the Prime Minister of Armenia on November 10, 2020. “Necessary measures have been taken by the units of the Azerbaijani army in order to prevent illegal activities”, concluded the statement. The 44-day Second Karabakh war, which broke out on September 27, 2020, between the armed forces of Azerbaijan and Armenia, ended with the tripartite agreement signed on November 10 of the same year. After that, Azerbaijan remained in the territories it regained control, and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the Lachin corridor. Since then, the ceasefire between the two sides has been repeatedly violated, and the parties blame each other for the clashes on the border.
The Azerbaijani parliament- Milli Majlis approved the law “On the Establishment of Azerbaijani Embassy in Israel” at the plenary session. Azerbaijan will open embassies in Albania, Palestine, and Kenya as well. The embassy of Israel in Azerbaijan tweeted that “the historic decision by the Azeri parliament is a significant step forward in the relationship between Israel and Azerbaijan.”
The ambassador of Israel to Azerbaijan, George Deek tweeted that “this historic decision to open an embassy in Israel has a big symbolic meaning: it is a message to the world that our special friendship is a source of pride, and that we wish to see it grow and flourish.” Azerbaijan will be the first Shi’ite Muslim-majority nation to open an embassy in Israel. Israel opened its embassy in Baku in 1993.
According to the Ministry of Defense of Israel, the Defense Ministers of Azerbaijan and Israel had a phone call. The parties discussed the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries, and the Israeli minister thanked his Azerbaijani counterpart for Baku’s official decision to open an embassy in Tel Aviv.
Adviser to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Akbar Vilayati, said that if Azerbaijan is attacked by any country, Iran will support it. “In recent weeks, some out of ignorance and some out of bias have been spreading rumors that Iran wants to fight with the Republic of Azerbaijan. This is a blatant slander against Iran. Iran has no intention of attacking any country, including its neighbors, whether in the Caucasus or elsewhere.”
The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning the Iranian government’s human rights violations. While Armenia and Russia opposed the resolution, Turkey and Georgia did not participate in the voting, and Azerbaijan abstained.
Milli Majlis adopted 43 draft amendments to the law “On Pensions”. The changes will affect the pensions of 18-20 thousand pensioners, which covers 1.6 percent of all pensioners. 4.2 million manats will be allocated for the changes, which is 0.084 percent of the funds intended for pensions next year. The changes also include raising the retirement age. Therefore, from next July, the retirement age for women will be 63 years and six months. Moreover, according to the draft law, the allowance for old age remains at 180 manats per month. The minimum amount of pensions will also not be changed and will be 240 manats. Commenting on the new changes to the law, the chairperson of ADWP, Gubad Ibadoghlu said that it would not have any serious impact on improving the living standards. Ibadoghlu wrote: during this government, there will be neither child benefits nor decent pensions, allowances, and salaries. War veterans live on 80 AZN allowances, 3rd group of disabled people receives only 120 AZN, and many die before reaching retirement age. If this government is really willing to help people, it should give a decent pension and benefits to more than 1 million pensioners and disabled people living in the country. On the contrary, when those who have been paying compulsory social insurance for decades die before retirement age, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection “appropriates” the capital they have accumulated and does not return it to the deceased’s heirs.”
November 22, 2022