Center for National and International Studies



“Citizens in Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan continued to endure the ruling elite’s nepotism and cronyism.”

(Lack of) Human Rights and Liberties

On May 23, a group of LGBTQ+ activists gathered to protest the arrest of transgender people who were detained a few days ago. On May 22, footage of a confrontation between three transgender people with the police in the Khatai district of Baku was spread on social media. In the footage, the transgender man is seen fighting with the police and then being detained.

Azadlig newspaper reports that a resident of the Guba region, Mammadov Rashid Mustafagulu oghlu was tortured by police officers and jailed for protesting the illegal confiscation of his property. In his open letter, Mammaddov detailed the events that led to his imprisonment and the inhuman treatment he was subjected to. “In 2022, I saw that the plots of land under my lease were registered at the tax authority in the names of other individuals (those persons are the representatives of “FOODCITY AGROPARK” LLC, which belongs to Sahin Askerov). They did it so that they could show the exported apples as their own product and get tax exemption. I applied to Guba District Zardabi Municipality, demanding the cancellation of those agreements. However, the municipality said that those persons should come and cancel the contract themselves. I was forced to meet those people. When I arrived to meet the representatives of the FoodCity Agropark, four or five people attacked me and knocked me down. They tied my arms behind my back, beat me and threw me into the car, and brought me to the police station. There, they started beating me. My hands, feet, head, eyes, my whole body were covered in blood. Then Muzaffar Hasanov, known as chief, came and told me to admit that the drug belonged to me, but I did not do it. They started beating me even more severely. I did not agree that the drugs belonged to me. I was charged with articles 510 (petty mischief) and 535 (disobedience to the legal order of the police) of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Republic of Azerbaijan, allegedly because I cursed loudly at an unknown address in Narimanov Park and disobeyed the police order to stop cursing. One day later, I was brought to the Narimanov Court covered in blood. Even though I showed my torture marks to Judge Asadova, the judge ordered administrative detention for at least 15 days. They did not inform the prosecutor’s office about my torture. My condition worsened, and they took me to the hospital, where I received emergency medical care. They also put pressure on my lawyer not to file an appeal against my arrest. When my 15 days of detention were over, they didn’t release me. They accused me of allegedly demanding money from seven people (of Sahin Asgarov) by threats, although there is no evidence in the case apart from their statements.”

Freedom House shared its annual report, which says that “citizens in Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan continued to endure the ruling elite’s nepotism and cronyism.” According to the report, for the 19th consecutive year, democratic governance suffered an overall decline in the region stretching from Central Europe to Central Asia. Azerbaijan was described as not free, with a score of 2 (out of 40) in Political Rights and 7 (out of 60) in Civil Liberties. With this ranking, the country was able to surpass only Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. In previous years, the organization included Azerbaijan in the list of “Consolidated Authoritarian regimes.” Meanwhile, neighboring Armenia and Georgia, as well as Ukraine and Moldova, were classified as “hybrid regimes”.

Governance and Corruption

Opposition leader and chairperson of the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP) Ali Karimli said that the government should act quickly to save the millions of Azerbaijanis living in Russia. Chairperson’s statement came amid the news that the Russian government plans mandatory conscriptions of non-Russians in exchange for citizenship. Karimli said that “the Azerbaijani authorities have made the country unlivable and closed the land borders for those who wanted to return.”

Davud Fuad oghlu Mammadli, a serviceman of the Azerbaijani army, a resident of Amirjan settlement, Surakhani district, born in 2003, died as a result of being struck by lightning. The Ministry of Defense released a statement saying that the incident took place in the territory of a military unit in the Dashkasan district, while the military serviceman was performing his duty.

Anar Eyvazov, the head of the press service of the Ministry of Defense noted that an investigation is underway.

At the meeting of the Plenum of the Constitutional Court, based on the appeal of the Baku Court of Appeal, the constitutional case regarding the related interpretation of Articles 269.1, 269.5, 460.1, and 1306.1 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan was considered. The Plenum of the Constitutional Court made a decision after examining and discussing the report of Judge Shafiyev, the opinions of the interested parties, the Baku Court of Appeals, the Economic Legislation Department of the Milli Majlis, the expert opinions of the Supreme Court’s Civil College, the Bar Association and the Azerbaijan Banks Association, as well as the case materials. As a result, according to Article 1306 of the Civil Code, the heirs who received the inheritance after the death of the debtor are responsible to the creditors of the bequeather in the amount of the share of the inheritance that they have received since the day of the inheritance. Thus, in accordance with Articles 269, 317.1, 319.1 of the Civil Code and 34.1 of the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On Mortgages”, in the event of the death of the main debtor, including the heirs, who do not perform the obligation or do not perform properly (when the main obligation is violated), the creditor can file a claim to divert the seizure to the subject of the mortgage.

Chairperson of the Azerbaijan Democracy and Welfare Party (ADWP) Gubad Ibadoghlu reacted to the decision of the Constitutional Court, saying that the new amendment clearly violates the rights of the citizens. “With the same approach, if a person who has not reached retirement age dies, the pension capital accumulated in his insurance account should be returned to his heir. I believe that this issue should be reconsidered and decided at the meeting of the Plenum of the Constitutional Court. As you can see, this government is only interested in taking, not giving.”

May 26, 2023