Center for National and International Studies
The dominating topics of the social networks these days were the statement of the president Ilham Aliyev refusing the course on European Integration, decision of the ruling party about dissolution of the parliament, new appointments by the president to his administration, continue to discuss the condition of the human rights defender Ogtay Gulaliyev, who was hit by the car.
The FB users widely an information about decision of the ruling party majority to dissolve the parliament. This decision was made at the meeting of the political council of the party on the 28th November and was explained by the fact that this is not adequate to the policies of the president and lagging behind the official course on reforms. All the leaders of the political parties expressed their opinion regarding this event. Isa Gambar of Musavat said that “the process of transferring power into the hands of the family continues and extends to the parliament, so its cleaned from the people loyal to various oligarchs etc. While the process of certain old cadres might be a positive process, but the system is not changing, and that’s in general a very negative process. The power is transferred to the family, and this is very bad for the country, its image, for the Karabagh issue. People, he says, already do not even perceive him seriously, and his potential to surprise already is exhausted, as well as the other potential. The authorities are trying to discredit the traditional opposition and to empower the new one, which has started to criticise us already some time ago.” The human righst defender Elchin Mammad in his analytical paper suggests that all this is expression of the intra- elite struggle, where clan of Pashayevs ( vice-president’s) won over the clan of Ramiz Mehdiyev and her visit to Moscow proves that Putin now apparently prioritizes cooperation with Pashayev’s rather than with representative of the old guards Mehdiyev. The appointment of the early elections is the tactics to deprive the opposition to prepare to them and to retain control over the election process. The other FB user Elchin Rustamli jokes: “ In Georgia crowds of people cannot dissolve their parliament for 15 days, while our parliament quietly dissolves itself. Democracy is something else, Yaver” ( he apparently hints on a journalist in exile, who has been discrediting Musavat in his interviews in connection with the corruption scandal with the IDs in Germany). The journalist Shahveled Cobanoglu says with irony: “Ilham Aliyev will bring his children to the new Parliament”. The other journalist Shamshad Aga comments: “ So what? They dissolve the parliament of Ramiz Mehdiyev and will form the ruling family’s parliament”. Journalist Natig Javadli posts the photo-collage of the Parliemnt building with the sign of the popular supermarket BRAVO on it with comment: “The process is going in that direction..”. While traditional opposition and journalists are ironic and sceptical about perspective of the new opening with the parliamentary elections, the parties like REAL, or some younger activists, like former political prisoner Giyas Ibrahimov are passionately advocating participation in elections, calling them “ the last chance”.
The FB users share and ironically comment on quotation from the MP of the ruling party Ali Ahmadov:” The new parliament will consist of young patriots” (azpolitika.info) Gullu Jangirova, activist in exile, asks: “Consisting of young Aliyevs and Pashayevs?” Gubad Ibadoglu comments: Today there will be the Parliament’s plenary session, where they will discuss 22 issues during just 1 day, and these are issues like the budget, pensions, insurance, administrative code, etc. To read, analyse and discuss all of them in just one day one really should be a wunderkind”
FB users widely comment the statement of the president Aliyev that Azerbaijan will not integrate in EU, as this is a traditional and Muslim society, but Europe is anti-Islam and because they do not see the difference between men and women, or have a respect for older generations in Europe. The leader of Popular Front Party Ali Kerimli speech was published on Azadlyg page: “ The family regime has expressed its true intention, now it is turn of the people to express theirs. Hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani students, business people, professionals, civils society, intelligentisya- they all want integration in the EU… We all have to move to action!” Hikmet Hajizadeh posted the citation from the adopted by the 23 May 2007 the Decree n. 2198 on National Security Concept, which totally contradicts the statement of Ilham Aliyev, as well as statements of his father, the previous president Heydar Aliyev, about integration in the West as a country’s strategic direction. The Statuskar posted two quotes from the official speeches of the president totally contradicting each other : one – pro-EU integration in 2004 and the current – anti EU integration in 2019.
The posting with the cartoon and updated list of political prisoners by Working Group on the List of Political Prisoners was published on the 25th November by the EMDC ( Election Monitoring and Democracy Center). Of 112 recognized as political prisoners- 7 are political and civil activists, 5 are journalists and bloggers, 45- religious people, 3 – with life sentences, 1- political hostage, 48 in connection with events in Ganja, cases of 11 more are being monitored smdtaz.org
The FB users continue to post, share and discuss the health condition of the human rights defender Ogtay Gulaliyev, in particular, video of him in the Turkish hospital and the interview with his wife, as well as appeal by the investigative journalist Khadija Ismayil to the West for help “ He has been documenting and defending numerous cases of human rights violations, but now there is no funding for his treatment… The government managed to support it until now, but due to decline of attention and pressure to the case is stopping this support. Could any of the European states help to treat him in one of the European clinics??”
FB users widely share and comment with indignance the insulting statement of the former MP Jumshud Nuriyev about women- soldiers who fought in Karabagh war. He in particular said, that these were “ divorced women, those of the streets”, which caused a stormy reaction by the readers.
The activists and public widely share and assess with shock the information about visit of the first lady and vice-president M. Aliyeva and the award of her by Putin, as well as the spirit of publications in Russian language about her visit. One of such publications by Regnum was called “ Mehriban Aliyeva feels herself at home in Moscow.” Besides expressing shock and irony, the FB users connect the visit of vice-president Mehriban Aliyeva to Moscow and dissolution of the parliament, as well as the statement of Ilham Aliyev about Azerbaijan’s non-integration in the EU. Besides, people share with indignation the citation of the president Ilham Aliyev by Zurna-TV: “…There is no opposition in Azerbaijan, there are just separate sold off groups, and they are absolutely shameless// This is total shame, they are sick, crazy, I really cannot find words to define them”..One of the comments says: “The word opposition should be replaced by the government”
FB users also share the BBC piece by Zeynal Maherramov “ Die or confess!” about tortures applied by the authorities to get the confessions in the espionage case of 2017, so called Ter-Ter (region) events in the military.
Russian speaking users share the information about the destruction of the city, outdated trains running from Azerbaijan ( contrary to the widely advertised most modern and expansive ones), and why the life in Azerbaijan is not like in Dubai. In his answer to the latter, the economist Shahmar Agabalayev in the interview to Turan.az agency mentions isolation and non-integration of the country in the international structures and economy as the main reason of its lagging behind.
Social networks share the publication by the gununsesi.org reporting release from prison the nephew of the former minister of National Security Agency Eldar Mahmudov, who was his assistant in the organized criminal group. The author Perviz Hashmli piece states, that this is yet another discrediting evidence of the justice system of the country, as he was supposed to get 15 years in prison only according to one article of the criminal code.
The FB users share the information that authorities prohibited professional activities of yet another decent legal defender and a female lawyer Shahla Humbatova, who defended such prominent political prisoners as Ilgar Mammadov, Intigam Aliyev, Mehman Huseynov etc. The journalist Chingiz Sultansoy concludes: “There are near 10 lawyers, who are deprived of their right to professional activities, who were defending opposition activists and protecting human rights of the citizens. They simply want to leave people without a legal defence….”
November 29, 2019