Center for National and International Studies



The Iran-US relations, crash of the Ukrainian airlines flight in Iran, detention of the opposition activist in Polish Gdansk airport Dashgin Aghalarly, health of human rights defender hit by the car Ogtay Gulaliyev, election campaign, investigation of the murder of the 10 year old girl in Tovuz region are subjects of discussion on FB.

Seymur Hezi, opposition journalist, writing about the divisions in the society caused by the death of the Iranian general, describes the foreign policy stance of the Popular Front Party “In 2010 when the government made anti-Turkish statement, pushed by Russia’s provocations- we came out against it, in 2012 when Ali Hasanov insulted Khamenei, we also were against both the insult of the religious person, as well as of aggravation of relations with Iran. Nowadays we observe how the Iran- US relations lead to deepening divisions in the society.In this situation we again choose the interests of our nation-state”. The other journalist, commenting on the crash of the Ukrainian plane, Hezi bey, comments:” Iran is a threat to humanism, if you give power to mollas, they will lock in, or kill whoever possible, and molla cannot be a politician, or a diplomat, only xurafatci. Even as a revenge to the death of the general, they shot the plane with 200 innocent victims” Before he informed that Iran state TV reported 80 american troops killed. Yadigar Sadyghli running as the candidate from the Southern regions comments: “ Whenever the US gets involved in military confrontation with the other country it always faces domestic resistance. Even in cases of notorious dictators. Except for Iran, when US actions get wide popular domestic support.Because they cannot forgive the events of 1977 with the capture of the US embassy and keeping diplomats of such a powerful country hostages for 444 days.” The others suggest conspiracy behind the US-Iran escalation, while others consider the shelling of US bases in Iraq by Iran targeted at the domestic audience as a revenge for the general Souleymani’s killing.

Yadigar Sadyghli comments on elections. “While we could not get rid of the MP from Lenkoran for 15 years, who had nothing to do with the region, now the government promotes another candidate who has nothing to do with the region-my rival will be the ex-anchor of ANS TV Yelena Sidorenko”

Ali Kerimli, the leader of the PFP writes on his timeline; “ In the end of 2019 oth the occupant Armenia and Azerbaijan bought airplanes. In fact, Azerbaijan paid 346, 9 mln dollars for one civil plane, which will be used by the president Ilham Aliyev and his wife, vice-president Mehriban Aliyeva. Armenia bought 4 SU-30SM multi function fighter jets 25 mln dollars each, and after buying another 8 of them will create an escadron of fighter jets. Which means that for 346 mln dollars – cost of one airplane for the president and his wife- the country could buy 14 modern fighter jets. Do you understand now that Karabagh and state security is not a priority for the current authorities?

He also comments on the investigation of the murder of the underage girl:”Which is the most effective institute of the law enforcement bodies in Azerbaijan? The answer is FB. If not publications in social networks, the president will not so take it under his personal control after 40 days of her disappearance and the police would not be mobilized and find the criminal.But thequestion is: why this mobilization was not made when the girl was still alive for 34 days, and it was still possible to save her? Do not these people in charge bear responsibility and should be accountable?

People discuss the arrest of the main suspect in the case of the murder of the underage girl in Tovuz region. The person graduated from Moscow State University, then worked there, spoke many foreign languages. The circumstances suggest, that the searches were not made in his family house, because the policeman was his relative and considered it unethical to make searches in the house of his well known and respected relatives ( teachers etc.). Yadigar Sadyghli comments with irony: “ One of the FB users wrote that he knew 30 languages… As far as I know, in the world history only a cardinal Mezzofanti spoke the biggest number of languages and it was 28, although they said he spoke 10 more, but could not test or prove because could not find those who spoke those languages”.

Seymur Hezi expresses his frustration with the government doing nothing to prevent or stop illegal settlements on the occupied territories arranged by the Armenian government, in spite of 4 UN resolution on Karabagh issue. He also recalls that when he arrived to the colony he was invited by the imprisoned believers to speak in their prayer room about politics. After half hour of conversation everyone left, but later the organizer sharedy his experience: “ The prison staff asked why did you invite the person of Ali Kerimli? If you do it again- we will shut down the prayer room- do not go beyond the religious prayers!”

The journalist Hezi bey jokes: “ It’s been 5 days since the pro-Iranian FB users were writing that I am pro-American, but I am not deleting it, as I think may be if I need visa, this will be seen by the US embassy and will help me to get it.”

Arif Mammadov, a diplomat in exile shares an information about Hasan Abdullayev, who was detained in Turkey while taking his mother there for a medical treatment from Germany. “Help me, I will be killed” We need to help him! -says the appeal.

Gubad Ibadoglu comments on appointment of the showman Murad Dadashov as a director of the TV channel Khazar: “ The person who recently infamously said, that “ The oil does not belong to you, it belongs to the state” has been appointed a director of the TV channel., after which probably Khazar TV will be also transformed into a “Car show”… At the time when the country increasingly is in need enlightenment, creativity, science, analytical debates, intellect, patriotism, the TV being taken over by the entertainment shows clearly demonstrates in which direction the country is developing… It is interesting, could not they find a single journalist, professional TV anchor or else to appoint that person the director??”

Dashgyn Aghalarli thanked everyone who helped to get him a lawyer and be released on probation in Poland, when he was detained in Gdansk airport. The Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza published an article titled “ Azerbaijani opposition activist arrested in Poland”. Dashgyn Aghalarli is an activist in exile, who has an asylum status in Norway and who was coming back to Norway from Germany via Poland when he was detained in the airport in Gdansk by interpol by the request of Azerbaijani government. While he was released from prison under the pressure of international advocacy, he is not allowed to leave Poland.

On elections and refusal of the EP to send its observers: Ilgar Mammadov of REAL appraised the decision. He considers, that OSCE/ODIHR and Council of Europe observers can do the job, as we are not members of the EU.Also, the individual MEPs previously would make various statements and Aliyev’s TV would present them as the opinion of the EU. This decision is timely and a good way to increase the quality of the observation mission” The journalist Seymur Hezi comments on the refusal of the European Parliament to send its delegation to observe february elections in Azerbaijan: “ This is a serious signal to Azerbaijani government, that the EU does not see any difference between these elections and the previous ones. While it may seem beneficial for Aliyev’s regime, the following developments might not be like that at all”.

Natig Jafarli of REAL on elections:” They say the 84 year old pro-government candidate runs in elections with the slogan “ The farewell meeting with voters”. PS. The US and Iran will continue to exchange “ passes” and there will not be a direct interstate war anyway, but for us the upcoming elections on the 9th february is the most important event. Our region is boiling, so we need a legitimate parliament as an air.”

Gozel Bayramli, a female deputy of the Popular Front Party leader, comments on the debate about the child benefits:” According to the new decree of the Armenian government parents who have 1st or second child will get a one time benefit of 625 dollars. In the meantime, Azerbaijani government is desperately convincing population that they do not have money for child benefits.While the budget and national income is misappropriated and stolen by the bureaucrats, this will go on. The fact, that in spite of such a public demand and need for the child benefits, the government is still resisting it, proves that the reason is in the deeply anti-popular and anti-national substance of this regime. That’s how the future of the country is being eliminated…”

Many activists, leaders, bloggers, journalists commented on the failure to find the disappeared girl Narmin Guliyeva and investigation of her murder in one of the regions of the country. Tofig Yagublu of Musavat comments on the decision of the president of taking under his personal control the case of the girl.” It appears, that if somebody wants his case to be properly investigated needs to find the way to the president himself. Otherwise, neither prosecutor, nor the police will do anything.. At least the case of Narmin Guliyeva clearly demonstrates it.” Stressing lack of professionalism of the law enforcement bodies, Taleh Khasmammadov lists at least 10 moments in the case and its investigation which causes doubts and contradicts facts or evidence and remains unclear.

Seymur Hezi speaks about the contemporary situation in Azerbaijan: “ I am proud of all what has the opposition and our party ( PFA) led by Ali Kerimli has done in these 26 years. This is beyond politics. But there is no politics anymore- there is a struggle for the country, and nobody can divert us from this struggle.!”

Activist, journalists and bloggers use every opportunity to remember and express solidarity with the political prisoners. This time they post and share happy birthday wishes to Fuad Ahmadli and Afghan Mukhtarli and appealed the FB users not to forget them, their families.

Tofig Yagublu, as many others, comment on the letter of the MP Khanguseyn Kazimli to the president to appoint his daughter instead of himself ( some claim this is a fake letter): “ Here is the country which was created by Heydar Aliyev- this is true banana republic. The old MP Khanguseyn Kazimli writes to the president, that you have appointed me as an MP 4 times already, but I am already old, please, appoint my daughter instead, and then they said that the West does not respect them”

Tofig Yagublu posted an information that the chief of the air space troops of IRI general Amir Ali Hajizade declared that the operation against the US military bases in the region called “ The victim Souleymani” will continue. Later, Tofig Yagublu mentions, that he believes that Iran will soon become a free and democratic country and will join the civilized world, and it is inevitable.Yagublu also comments on the minister of interior firing the deputy head of the Department of the Organized Crime police colonel Teyyub Museyibov because of his old age. This means that he could not perform tortures with the same energy, as before. This is the core of the Aliyev’s reforms. So he will be replaced by the younger and full of strength police cadre.

Natig Jafarli discusses the issue of the cliche about the REAL members, saying that the labels against the party that “they sold off”, or “ the mandate for Ilgar Mammadov was issued in advance” prove to be wrong because besides Ilgar Mammadov, the authorities did not register candidacies of the other two members of REAL – Rasul Jafarov and Gurbanli Zaur. He says that unlike those who blamed them, they get in door to door campaign thousands of voters’ signatures, and they know they would win over YAP candidates, but this marginalized group of critics will still be critical “So what, -he concludes, -the people and history will give the correct assessment of all events”. He also publishes the appeal to the voters. This appeal says, that 3 mln of the voters are young people who were born in the 80s, and of those 600 thousands who will vote first time, who did not go through trauma of the 2003-2005. Because the institute of elections was discredited by the falsification of the authorities and turning it to the unrealised dream by the traditional opposition. They grew up using internet and that’s why they leaders in their families and neighborhoods, as they are informed better. Our main hope is with this social group and we urge them to come and vote, “just spend half hour and give your votes, and try to convince your families, neighbors and friends to come and vote”…

Ilkin Rustamzade of NIDA passionately and consistently writes in response to the petition, signed by 40 thousands to bring back the capital punishment as a result of the murder of the 10 year old girl. “ The capital punishment should be brought back, and it should be applied to the killers of Narmin” the petition says. Now we know potential 40 thousands murderers. And God knows, how many are there those jerks besides this list. The crime, or the relevancy of the punishment can be the subject of discussion, but everyone who signed the petition about return of capital punishment knowingly or unknowingly is making a step of taking us back to the medieval darkness. The civilized and cultured world buried the capital punishment in the dark
history, while our “smart” ones demand its return.Believe me, Ilham Aliyev is not enough for you!” He brings number of arguments against it, starting with the Constitution, which allows return of clauses only in favour of citizens. Then, in the presence of corrupt and dependent judiciary, return of capital punishment will give authorities yet another tool for oppression of its critics, notwithstanding the mistaken application of the punishment. “ Everyone who signed this petition just imagine that tomorrow this punishment will be applied to your innocent family member”. In regards the criminal, “believe me he will be dreaming to die, but he will have to live with this everyday”, which is much worse, than death, concludes Ilkin Rustamzade.

The FB users continue to share information about the state of health of the human rights defender Ogtay Gulaliyev, whose son reported that he needed another brain surgery.

Ordukhan Babirov continues to organize and conduct vigils and actions in Europe against the regime. This time he did it in front of the AZerbaijani embassy in Berlin with slogans “Down with the Aliyev- Pashayev’s regime”.

January 13, 2020

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