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Center for National and International Studies


FB Digest@VoxPOPULI                                      


FB users actively discuss and share the information about mass protests in Iran as a reaction to the significant increase of the gasoline prices resulted in casualties on the side of protesters. Some of the photos initially were shared under the mistaken title: “Azerbaijanis in Iran struggle for independence”. The total number of victims is quoted to be 106 and many injured, as reported by Amnesty International.

The topic of the scandal with fake IDs of Azerbaijanis in exile in Germany continues to be a hot topic on FB. Basta info publishes the head of Musavat party Arif Hajili’s  detailed  answer  to Ali Hasanov of the presidential administration, who he considers the main figure behind the campaign directed against the opposition party Musavat under the title: “ Such events will not ruin Musavat!”. He proves that simply saying how the campaign  has “shaken Musavat”, Ali Hasanov revealed his intentions, although preliminary investigation in Germany showed that  none of Musavat members were arrested, and the main person behind this organized group have nothing to do with the party. If however the fair justice sytem of Germany proves, that a member of the party was involved in the illegal business, the party will react in an adequate manner.”

People widely share an information about the 28th commemoration of the date when helicopter, carrying a big delegation of officials, journalists etc., was shot in Karabagh on its way there on the 20th November 1991. Among killed were number of high officials of Azerbaijan- State Secretary Tofig Ismayilov, the Prosecutor General Ismet Gayibov, Minister of Interior Mammad Asadov, MPs Vagif Jafarov and Veli Mammadov, the head of the department of the presidential  administration  journalist Osman Mirzoyev (the father of the popular TV journalist in exile Sevinc Osmangizi), journalist Ali Musatfayev, deputy premier Zulfu Hajiyev, deputy interior minister of Kazakhstan Saylau Serikov and others.

People widely share archival video and photos, marking the 17 November – the Day of National Revival and comment on this day. One of them is asking where was Ilham Aliyev during those years, when people of Azerbaijan were going through those dramatic events?

The kanal 13 reports the citizen of Tavuz region complains that bureaucrats are putting pressure on female students by  blackmailing to get them involved in the prostitution. He disclosing the network with involvement of the official agencies and some Fizuli Alekperov, who is using the name of his relative a general of the  Border Troops  and bringing young women to the summer houses to the parties.

People share the information that the newly appointed by the president the head of executive power of Surakhani settlement hired his nephew as his assistant.

Nurlan Libre posts the list of the all opposition leaders invited to his wedding with the comment: If they do not unify at my wedding, where else they will do it?

FB users comment indignantly that the Ministry of Interior came to conclusion that  the human rights defender Oktay Gulaliyev’s being hit by a car was an accident. They also share the appeal by Rafig Tamrazov, a political refugee, to help the family of Gulaliyev to locate him to the more professional clinic in one of the European states. Most recently FB users shared the information about Gulaliyev being at last transferred to the specialized American hospital in Istanbul.

The FB users continue to discuss the arrival to the city of the Armenian journalists, as well as a picket in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs protesting it.

For a few days FB users were sharing the information by Hamam Times with the  commentaries of worry and indignation, that the Ministry of Ecology and Environment has given the lands with most valuable woods for 49 year lease to the company  “ AGA Group” which started to cut them and plant commercial hazelnut.  The Ministry does not react. The eco-activist Javid Gara went there to protest. “Do not stay indifferent!”, appeals to the readers Hamam Times.

People share information about Tofig Yagublu of Musavat who was released after administrative detention and has written on his FB page: “I am mostly concerned about the state of health of Oktay Gulaliyev, and all my hopes are  now  with the quality of professional medical service of the clinic where he is. In spite of everything, we should continue with even greater strength our struggle for democracy. We should get rid of anti-popular and anti-human regime of Aliyevs!” Appreciative comments are accompanying statement by Jamil Hasanli, the leader of National Council, that he wants to resign and suggests to this position the candidacy of Tofig Yagublu. Earlier Tofig Yagublu stated that in detention he was threatened by the murder of his son. “ We will send your  son after your daughter ( his daughter died last year- L.A), if you do not stop your political activities”, he was told.  The leader of the other opposition party, PFP, ( member of the National Council) Ali Kerimli appraised his release, adding dozens other names of activists who were released from the administrative detentions and said, that “ With all seriousness I would say, that in spite of all tortures and pressure, which followed the recent rallies, both National Council and Popular Front party came out of it even stronger and more unified than before”.  Ramis Yunus, the activist in exile and political commentator expressed his full support to the proposal of Jamil Hasanli on Tofig Yagublu becoming a chair of National Council. “The candidacy of Yagublu, who is now a symbol of honour and dignity of Azerbaijan people, will give a powerful impetus for the people’s struggle agianst the Aliyev- Pashayev’s regime”.

Sabit Bagirov in his popular programme “ The Economic Forum” discussed the issue of reforms, announced by the government with the leading economic experts prof. Rasim Hasanov and dr. Azer Mehdiyev, who expressed their attitude to the implementation of the declared course. They noticed that re-shuffling of the cadres and bureaucrats is not reforms, because at least there should be a roadmap etc. Azer Mehdiyev attracted attention to the observed scepticism in the in the society and the opinion that without political reforms the economic reforms are not possible.

Russian speaking FB users continue to discuss the issue of the historical architecture of Baku and its villages.

People continue to discuss the statements of Lavrov during his visit to Armenia, and various publications related to that. Seymur Hazi, recently released opposition journalist,  comments on the title of the article  “Can Russian recognize Nagorno-Karabagh?”. “ By this idea the Russian diplomat wants to say to Azerbaijan, that if you go too far from Kremlin sphere of influence, we can treat NK as an independent subject. The title has multiple effect- it shocks Azerbaijan, blackmails Armenia, and sends the signal to Nagorno Karabagh, that there is nothing to worry about. Russia has already did it in relations with Georgia and can do the same in relations with Azerbaijan.”

Yadigar Sadyghli critically assesses the statement by the leader of Musavat party Arif Hajili at the press conference, that in decision on the reception of the new members to the party in the country is adopted by simple majority, while for the applications from abroad- by 2/3. “ He either does not know the regulations of the party, or…”

The FB reports about various local protests in the regions and in the capital. On the 19th of November the group of citizens  from Zikh settlement near Baku gathered in front of the building of the Cabinet of Ministers. Ilham Aliyev had a meeting with the other group of citizens at the venue, where the National Council planned to hold  its own protest meeting. Another information mentions the citizens of Ujar region, who blocked the road  Baku-Gazakh.

Journalist and activist in exile Habib Muntazir and Ordukhan Babirov discussed and discredited the policies of the president Aliyev, his so- called reforms.  They critically address the inconsistency and absence of any logic in his actions, meaning re-shuffling of the old cadres, instead of firing and punishing them, first of all Ramiz Mehdiyev.

The ex-graffiti prisoner Giyas Ibrahimov comments on Ali Hasanov of presidential apparatus, who criticises the West and neo-liberals, who destroy world peripheries. “ He is right in this, but he forgets to mention, that they use people like Ali Hasanov to do that. In Zimbabwe they did it not by ousting Mugabe, but rather supporting him there for 40 years because of the zinc deposits. Similarly, Ali Hasanov and his vassal regime is lasting because of the oil and its significance for the West. When Hasanov criticises the West he does not mean the corrupt European Parliamentarians or BP etc, he targets those few, who are worthy people there. The regime of Aliyev itself is a direct product of neoliberalism. “

The activist Taleh Khasmammadov quotes and summarizes the coverage of the visit of Armenian journalists to Baku. He refers to director of the “think tank” Tevan Pogosian, stating that this visit  is part of the agreement between the president Aliyev and premier Pashinian reached at the Vienna meeting  on the confidence building measures, as well as quotes editor of the Medialab website Mariya Grigorian when she reminded about peace mission of Armenian MP Ashot Bleyan in 1992 who visited Baku with the letter signed by 55 MPs of Armenian Parliament.

 In memory of the journalist and writer Rafig Tagi, who was stabbed by knife on the 19th November , resulting in his death, in 2011, people shared the commentary by the NGO leader in exile and expert on media freedom Rashid Hajili. Hajili reminds that in 2006 Rafig Tagi and his colleague were arrested and sentenced for three years in prison for the article “ Europe and We” in the Senet newspaper. At the same time, the Ayatollah Fazil Lenkerani in Iran issued a fatva on Tagi.5 years later he was stabbed by the knife in the street, but managed to reach the hospital alive. While he survived the attack, he died 4 days later in the hospital. Local investigation was of a low quality and did not result in finding either the executors, or those who ordered the murder. The case was sent to the ECHR, the communication on the case is finished, and the verdict will be announced on the 5th December. Let him rest in peace!”

Natig Jafarli of REAL comments on the events in Georgia, the photos and videos of which were shared by FB users for  a few days already. In his detailed description he says: “ This is  a normal political process and not a coup, or revolution, or a chaos “, and that it ws areaction of people to the failure of the ruling coalition “ Georgian dream” to fulfil its promise to establish the proportional system of parliamentary elections.

Ilagr Mammadov of REAL comments on the Iranian governemnts cutting the internet connection: “ They do not understand, that if they open the internet, all the people will return home from the squares. They go out to the streets and squares to get the news and gradually turn themselves into those news. But after a while, even turning on internet will not help, as the events will go out of control”

People share the calculations by the economist Gubad Idadoglu of the Azerbaijan’s population, who attracts the attention to the missing 2 mln. 122 thousand 449 people  in the numbers given by the Central Electoral Commission.

Activists and journalists share information about arbitrariness and tortures in the colonies and prisons. Ilkin Rustamzade declares SOS when he mentions the situation in the notorious colony 13, while Khadija Ismayil mentions “bad news from the colony 4”.

FB users shared an investigation published by Hafiz Times entitled “ Jafar Baghirov even ordered to arrest his own mother..” about the persecuted women- wives of Azerbaijani victims of Stalin’s purges and their destiny in the infamous camp in Kazakhstan called Aljir  (The Akmola Camp of the Wifes Of People Committed Treason).

November 20, 2019