Center for National and International Studies
“The procedure for registration of political parties by the Ministry of Justice is very long, not transparent, and decisions are based on political instructions, not the law.”
(Lack of) Human Rights and Liberties
Azerbaijan Popular Front Party member Gulnara Rahimova was dismissed from her job at City Apartment Hotel. According to Rahimova, when the managers of the hotel found out that she was a member of APFP and posted views critical of the regime on various social networks, they started emotional abuse to intimidate her at work. Although Rahimova was working for the hotel only for a month, she was fired and denied to receive the full salary. She was paid only 100 manats instead of 516 manats.
Karabakh War veteran Rahman Azizzadeh complains that his status of disability and pension have been changed. Azizzadeh said: “I was the head of a post 60 meters away from the enemy in the village of Alikhanli, Fizuli region. I received a severe bullet wound in the head while performing a combat mission. I lost one eye and have an 80% vision loss in the other eye. I used to receive a disability pension of 587 azn for group 2 disability. Then my disability status was terminated. On 16.02.2022, I was wrongly assigned to group 3. The Deputy Minister instructed them to reconfirm my 2nd group disability status. However, to date, I have not been assigned to the 2n group, although according to the law, I should be given the 1st-degree disability status.”
The Khazar District Court has held the hearing of the lawsuit against Abid Gafarov, chairman of the Baku Union Organization and presenter of KIM TV. The lawsuit was filed by a group of self-proclaimed veterans, and according to Gafarov’s lawyer, the real reason was the investigation of the Tartar massacre by KIM TV owned by Gafarov. Another person who has previously investigated the Tartar case, lawyer Ilham Aslanoglu, has been convicted twice on similar charges. According to the human rights defenders, the reason for the arrests is to evade responsibility for the grave crimes committed by the officials of the Azerbaijani Army against the military, the state, and the people. “The aim is to intimidate those who expose all these crimes and to deter criminals from being exposed,” said the lawyer.
Activist and journalist Tural Sadigli said reported that Karabakh veteran Sadig Aliyev attempted suicide. According to Sadigli, the veteran living in an abandoned train carriage in Barda made complaints to several officials however was denied receiving any support. Sadigli said that with the help of friends, they had managed to save the veteran who was about to throw himself off the bridge.
“Müdafiə Xətti” (The Defense Line) union of the lawyers has announced their decision to protest against current problems in the judiciary system. The statement said that despite the fact that the hearings of politically motivated lawsuits are “theatre performances”, the proceedings are closed to the public. Human rights activists, members of the media, and civil society activists are generally not allowed into the process, except for lawyers and family members of the accused. The protest is planned to be held on July 1 in front of the Judicial-Legal Council, emphasizing the need for open hearings. According to the statement, the proceeding in all courts, except those closed sessions where the court declassifies state, professional and commercial secrets or the need to protect the privacy of citizens’ private or family life, should be open to the public to attend.
Governance, Transparency and Corruption
The construction of a new transport route along the Lachin corridor, which provides a link between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, will bring a number of settlements under Azerbaijani control. The statement came from Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Armenian PM said that the initial agreement to change the route was reflected in the trilateral statement of the Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia dated November 9, 2020, and the goal is to provide a more secure connection. The new corridor must be completely under the control of Russian peacekeepers. According to Russian sources, Moscow has helped Azerbaijan and Armenia reach an agreement on the road through the Zangazur corridor. It is said that the future route has been agreed upon, except for the 6-kilometer section of the road. It is said that the remaining 40 km of Soviet-era road connecting Nakhchivan with Zangilan district will be used. As there are mountains in the remaining 6 km, a new project is being prepared by engineers.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that “in order to legitimize a new war against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, meetings on peace agreements, delimitation and security of borders, opening of regional communications are constantly delayed, postponed or rejected by Azerbaijan.” According to Pashinyan, Azerbaijan openly refuses to engage in dialogue with Armenia and is preparing for a new war, which seems inevitable. The Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the allegations adding that if Azerbaijan were planning for a new war, it would not invest in the construction of the infrastructure in the Karabakh region.
The Caspian Summit was held in Turkmen Capital Ashgabat on June 29 with the participation of the leaders of the Caspian littoral states. During the summit, Russian President Putin also met with Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev. Aliyev also met with the President of Turkmenistan Sardar Berdimuhamedov. The event will also mark the 65th anniversary of former Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. Political commentator Arastun Orujlu said that the reason why the media did not pay much attention to the summit is that there is nothing new and no news value in it. Orujlu wrote: “There was nothing to comment on, as the meeting was in fact, an introduction of Turkmenistan’s new “president”, the 65th birthday of his father, and Putin‘s first appearance in “an international” setting since the start of the military aggression against Ukraine. Another? Nothing else, that’s why the information space is empty.”
Chairperson of Azerbaijan Democracy and Welfare (ADR) Party Gubad Ibadoghlu said that the official registration of the party is deliberately delayed, and the Ministry of Justice violates the law by failing to register the party. Ibadoghlu wrote: “On June 21, 2022, the Ministry of Justice responded to the letter of the Azerbaijan Democracy and Welfare (ADR) Party dated March 16, 2022, for state registration with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ). The response of the Ministry of Justice to the initial appeal of the ADR Party after three months and five days states that the documents are returned due to the absence of the signature of the party’s founder or its notarization. In this regard, the ADR Party states that the legal representative of the party, the head of the executive office Ellada Mammadli, along with other founders, signed the application, and the signatures were notarized. In the same format, the application was submitted in the first appeal, but the Ministry of Justice commented on it only in response to the second appeal. This shows that the Ministry delays the registration of the ADR Party by prolonging the process by making 1-2 remarks in each appeal. The ADR Party has been dealing with the issue of registration for eight months. Each application period takes four months. The ADR Party believes that the procedure for registration of political parties by the Ministry of Justice is very long, not transparent, and decisions are based on political instructions, not the law.”
July 1, 2022