Center for National and International Studies
“Participation in the Eurasian Union, one of Russia’s imperial projects, with any status is not economic, but a political issue, an attempt to breathe life into the isolated Putin at the cost of harming the national interests of Azerbaijan.”
(Lack of) Human Rights and Liberties
Azadliq newspaper reports that Ziyafat Aliyev, a member of the APFP Bilasuvar district branch, was subjected to police brutality. “As soon as the police found out that I was a relative of Jamil Hasanli, they punched me in the mouth,” Aliyev told Azadliq newspaper. On Saturday, he was abducted, and the police did not comment on his whereabouts. The same day, another member of the APFP, Alzamin Salayev, chairman of the APFP Salyan district branch, was detained by the police.
Ibrahim Khudayi, a young poet living in Salyan, congratulated First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva on her birthday with a poem and was called to the police station shortly after. In his poem, Khudayi pointed out the miserable economic situation in the country with sarcasm. The poet deleted the poem he shared on his Facebook and said that the reason why he was called to the police was the dispute he had with the landlord.
Governance and Corruption
Chairperson of APFP Ali Karimli criticized prime minister Ali Asadov for attending the meeting of the Eurasian Economic Union. Karimli wrote: “What does the prime minister of this country have to do with Russia’s new imperial project, the Eurasian Economic Union? What does Russia’s economy, which is bankrupt under heavy international sanctions, offer? Participation in the Eurasian Union, one of Russia’s imperial projects, with any status, is not economic but a political issue, an attempt to breathe life into the isolated Putin at the cost of harming the national interests of Azerbaijan. In such a situation, the will of our people should be very clear. Azerbaijan will not participate in the USSR-2 project under any circumstances and in any form. Our people should be ready to assert their independence in any situation.”
Member of APFP Fuad Gahramanli said that under current conditions, there is no need for Azerbaijan to remain as a member of OSCE Minsk Group. Gahramanli wrote: “The OSCE Minsk Group, which was created for the purpose of solving the Karabakh problem, mainly discussed the liberation of the occupied territories and the determination of the status of the Armenians living in Karabakh. In the event that the seven regions that are the subject of negotiations have already been freed from occupation today, and the official position is that no status will be given to the Armenians living in Karabakh, then why does Azerbaijan not officially refuse to participate in the OSCE Minsk Group? Or, why does the Azerbaijani side not take the initiative to dissolve the Minsk Group based on the mentioned points? This situation creates a contradiction in Azerbaijan’s foreign policy. On the one hand, we maintain our participation in the OSCE Minsk Group, and on the other hand, we refuse to participate in the discussions in the Minsk Group and declare that the status of Karabakh is not the subject of discussion. Taking into account all these, Azerbaijan itself should first of all end its activity in the OSCE Minsk Group so that the activity of the group created to determine the status of Karabakh is ended. After that, it makes more sense to ask others to follow suit.”
Azadliq newspaper reports that although two years have passed since the Second Karabakh War, veteran Adil Mammadov’s status of disability is not confirmed. Mammadov’s brother told Azadliq newspaper that the veteran was injured in the eye during the war, and he couldn’t afford the treatment. “Even though two years have passed since the war, my brother still has not received the degree of disability. Twice a month, eye medicine should be provided by the state, but it is not provided, and my brother was told at the Military Hospital and the eye clinic named after Zarifa Aliyeva that they do not have eye medicine. They said that if you have acquaintances in Iran or Turkey, ask them to bring the medicine, and they will pay for it. Why does the state not help the Karabakh veteran, and why did they put him in such a situation?! This man does not work anywhere, and he has no income from anywhere. How can he buy his medicine and take care of his family?! Why don’t the head of Astara district executive power, Gazanfar Agayev, Astara district MP Rashad Mahmudov look carefully at this case, and why do they discriminate?! Giving 50 manats every two months is not enough to pay for my brother’s needs and treatment!”
Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, Foreign Policy Advisor Hikmat Hajiyev, made a controversial statement when commenting on the US and French ambassadors’ refusal to attend a state event in Shusha. Hajiyev told journalists: “The French and US ambassadors to Azerbaijan are not in Shusha today. They openly ignored the invitation of the Azerbaijani government. We regard this as disrespect for our territorial integrity. France and the US have made no contribution to the resolution of the conflict as co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group over the past 30 years. They made Azerbaijan lose time during these 30 years. By refusing to join the visit, they have once again demonstrated negligence.” The US Embassy in Azerbaijan responded to the statement of Hajiyev, saying that “there is no greater supporter of Azerbaijan’s independence and sovereignty than the United States.” An embassy spokesperson said in response to Voice of America Azerbaijani service: “The United States believes that through continued dialogue, continued engagement, including at the highest levels, we can do everything possible to help achieve a lasting and comprehensive peace. As we said earlier, there is no greater supporter of Azerbaijan’s independence and sovereignty than the USA. The employees of the United States Embassy have made many visits and continue to visit all Azerbaijan regions, including Aghdam, Zangilan, and Fuzuli. Embassy employees visit all regions of the country to establish relations with Azerbaijan on such important issues as security, healthcare, energy, and economic development.”
In his Facebook post, chairperson of NCDF Jamil Hasanli reacted to advisor Hajiyev’s statement calling it “definitely the wrong approach.” According to Hasanli, it is fundamentally wrong to associate respect for territorial integrity with whether foreign ambassadors participate in an event or not. “Ambassadors have no such obligation… they (the regime) want to treat foreign ambassadors like bus opposition”, added Hasanli.
Chairperson of Musavat party Arif Hajili said that at this important stage of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the participation of the Prime Minister of Azerbaijan in the meeting of the Eurasian Union is a serious blow to the national interests. “It is another proof of the regime’s intention to keep Azerbaijan in the servitude of Russia, and unfortunately, it will not have long to wait.” Said Hajili.
Member of APFP Fuad Gahramanli said that Hajizade’s statement was “inadequate and not in accordance with national interests.”
Commenting on the subject, a member of NCDF Tofig Yagublu, said that as long as the local population does not return to their homes in Shusha, there is no point in ambassadors’ visits. Yagublu wrote: “It seems that they (authorities) think they should create a “bus diplomatic corps” just as they created a “bus opposition”. At the very first moment, there is a call from the Presidential Administration (PA), everyone must run and get on the bus. No one would visit the house when the host is not at home. That’s to say if the owner of the house (Shusha people) is not at home, why should the ambassadors go to that house?” Yagublu also said that he is not planning to visit Shusha unless the requirement of acquiring an official permit to visit is lifted. “This rule humiliates and insults the citizens of Azerbaijan. Of course, I am longing to see the lands I once fought for, but I would not go there with this humiliating permission. In short, I will go to Shusha when Shusha is no longer Aliyev’s attraction-propaganda stage and finally becomes an Azerbaijani city.”
The Azerbaijani Army took control of the city of Lachin and the villages of Sus and Zabukh. Most of the 300 Armenian residents in these areas were deported to Armenia, and 4-5 families were placed in Khankendi. The corridor of Lachin was replaced by a new alternative road which will be under the control of the Russian peacekeepers.
August 30, 2022