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Center for National and International Studies




The  FB users continue to discuss the ongoing election campaign, the CoE resolution on Azerbaijan political prisoners, birthday of the founder of the modern nation state- Azerbaijan Democratic Republic Mammad Emin Rasulzade, wedding party of two former political prisoners- prominent activists   Seymur and Nigar Hezi, publication of the government’s list of the MPs by the ex-leader of the opposition National Council Cemil Hasanli, harassment of opposition politician Gultakin Hacibeyli, as well as continue to post humorous variations on the topic of pro- government candidates hugging/kissing grandmothers in their electoral districts.

Yadigar Sadyghli of Musavat reports details of the course of his campaign on the timeline. “ I was not on FB just for two hours, and it is already clear that the support of the general Galib Mammadov for my candidacy makes current MP worry. Both my profile and the site was attacked by trolls. One even wrote: “ You have beaten up the veteran, you murderer!” And before even I thought of deleting some of them, one of the trolls anticipated and wrote: “ Why do you delete our comments, you coward!”  It is so unfortunate, that he has been an MP for 15 years and still resorts to such miserable methods”. He also reports that he knocked the door of the voter, the woman opened and when he gave a booklet,asking her to come to vote,  she said: “ No worries, they always take us from the work place there”, and quickly closed the door.

Azel.TV  reports about violations at the 93 Barda region electoral district – wide utilization of administrative resource to support the pro-government candidate Fatma Yildirim. The TV informs about attraction of the employees and resources of state energy companies, such as Azerishig, Azergaz, local authorities,  education and health system to provide for support of the pro- government candidate.

Erkin Gadirli of REAL, who runs as a candidat, posts on his timeline: “ The election in 16 Narimanov district is totally meaningless. To win is will be be a total disgrace. I have not heard of any of the 25 candidates running along with me, I am not even sure I have heard of myself”. ( The name of Erkin Gadirli appears in the list supposedly prepared by the government of the winning candidates, which was disclosed by Jamil Hasanli)

Journalist Nurlan Libre complains about harassment and pressure on the journalists by the “ supporters ( qocu)” ( qocu- private “bodyquards”, or gang),  of the notorious candidate Kamaladdin Gafarov and total indifference by the police. He appeals to the minister of interior to sack these policemen, if he has “ a gram of respect for his job”. He also stresses, that Kamaladdin relies on support of his gang very much, and if he has guts- can sue Libre. He also reports that three people in civilian clothes near Narimanov metro station have detained the member of the Council of the Popular Front Party Nijat Abdullazade and  taken him in unknown direction. The journalist Seymur Hezi comments: “ We witness the reforms passing to the stage of  hijacking people! The responsibility lies with the political leadership!”   Gozel Bayramli of the PFP comments: “ At the moment when the report on political prisoners on Azerbaijan is discussed in PACE, they again detained our activist. This is already his second arrest during the month of January. What do you want??I understand that PFP is a threat to you,  but you should watch what you do”. She reports the next day about arrest of another PFP activist: “ Today the head of the Sabunchu branch of PFP Allahverdi Allahverdiyev was taken to the Sabunchu police station from his home. The repressions against PFP turned into a work principle for the authorities. The detention of Allahverdiyev is against the law, and has no any basis.  Knowing the provocative methods of our police, he might be charged with resistance to police. We demand an immediate release of Allahverdiyev!”

The youth activist and the MP candidate Ulvi Hasanli comments on his experience of the campaigning at the local level. He informs that after numerous videos, news, reports about the failure to create conditions for the campaign at the 9 electoral district  the board for the posters was installed. He writes; “ The “naming and shaming” method  works. The public pressure remains the only method in the society where the law does not work, and where the public servants do not fulfil their duties. If this is still possible to shake this rotten system, then there is still hope..We need to go on, and everything will be all right!”

With irony, the FB users share an information that Rovnag Abdullayev , the president of SOCAR, became yet another time the president of AFFA.

The candidate from the 10th Binagadi, 3d electoral district Rabiyya Mammadova responds to the 10 questions, which some time ago the journalist Khadija Ismayil asked each candidate to respond to. The questions aim at revealing the programme of the candidates ranging from the system of justice and corruption to the salaries and Karabagh issue. The answers attracted a lot of positive comments.

Tofig Yagublu reports an irony of the new technological advances introduced in the services in the country. He comments, that the technological innovations are as meaningless, as the reforms of Ilham Aliyev. He tells that he came with his ultramodern new ID to the electoral district, but the head of it could not read it, and asked Yagublu to go to the ASAN service and get a excerpt from it.

The activist Hikmet Hacizade called the upcoming parliamentary elections: “The election of sons, in-laws, and grandmothers!”

The investigative journalist Khadija Ismayil writes about harassment and campaign against the opposition female politician Gultakin Hacibeyli. Her and her mother’s phone numbers were placed on the sex ad webpage and numerous calls have been made to them since 4 months ago. Her private conversations with the US and EU diplomats were tapped by secrte services amnd aired previously. Her ex-husband and his family were let get away for enslaving the Philippino woman in exchange for numerous lawsuits against Gultakin. It is hard to be a woman critic of the government in this country, concludes Khadija.

The blogger Mehman Huseynov shares his negative impression from the so called campaign of his rival in the electoral district – a millionaire Kamaladdin Gafarov, who “ does not bother kissing the old people, he simply makes his wait in the cold outside the building”.

Altay Geyushov posts the photo of the collapsing class room in the Gam-gam village of the Guba region, ironically calling it “ Development 2020 – the State Programme”, mentioning that there 500 pupils in this school.

The adoption of the report on Azerbaijani political prisoners by the PACE  is widely posted, shared and commented on by the FB users. Ali Kerimli of PFP writes with irony: “ The international organizations, who are “jealous” of Aliyev’s reforms, cannot stop…Last week the Economist Intelligence Unit placed Azerbaijan among 18 least democratic states in the world based on its Index of Democracy. This week PACE adopted the resolution, which called as one of the countries with the most hostile attitudes to the media in the world. The resolution called the authorities to stop repressions against media and journalists, blockage of websites, immediately release all imprisoned journalists.  Tofig Yagublu later writes: “ Right at this moment PACE discusses the report on political prisoners in Azerbaijan! Shame on Azerbaijani government! Ilkin Rustamzade also comments on this event: “ PACE adopted the resolution regarding Azerbaijan. Now the government should release all of them, and ultimately stop this shameful practice!”.

Nurlan Libre reports about victims of domestic violence and of the low quality medical service in the country. The case of the 16 year old bride, who was killed by her 19 year old husband just two weeks after their wedding has been widely discussed by the FB users. Libre also writes with the reference to Habib Muntazir ( a journalist in exile) about the death in the clinic of the woman, in regards of which the doctor informed that already 12 people died with the similar diagnosis, and that apparently coronavirus is in the country. While according to them, the president gave serious orders related to that, the public is not informed yet.  The FB users also shared information about 40 people who were brought to the hospitals with the gas poisoning, commenting on the low quality of the gas itself distributed to the population, along with the home appliances and devices.

Gubad Ibadoglu analyses the reasons why AZAL stopped flights to NY in February, and explains it by the absence of the corporative culture of the company, who is only interested in income. He suggests, that the company simply sends the flights in other directions, which might bring a greater income. The flights to NY and back by AZAL, he concludes, will be resumed in March.

Taleh Khasmammadov indignantly comments on the situation in defence ministry, writing that the minister  Zakir Hasanov leaves the dreams of the poor citizens, who want to serve their country unrealized. He writes, they say,  that to be accepted to the Training Centers depending on the ranks people should pay bribe from 3,000 to 10,000 manats.

The issue of early marriages remains a heated one. The journalist Ruzgar Movsum writes on his timeline, how he was shocked by men’s numerous comments that if woman wants to marry when she is 16, so let it be. He calls them potential maniacs.

The issue of the government’s list of MP seats already prepared in advance, which was publicised by the former leader of the National Council Jamil Hasanli remains a subject of heated debates. Part of the democratic community supports this action, first of all those who boycotted elections, but the part which participates- criticises. Zohrab Ismayil of REAL, Yadigar Sadyghli of Musavat are among those, who did not appreciate revealing of this list. Zohrab Ismayil considered publication of this list aimed at diminishing already low level of trust in elections of the constituencies and discrediting of REAL, as both at the 12th  ( Natig Jafarli’s) and 16th  (Erkin Gadirli’s) distrctis, he asserts, the government has its own candidates. Yadigar Sadyghli bases his argument on the fact that none of such documents are usually leaked without will of the authorities, and that proves that it was done deliberately to discourage people from voting for the genuine candidates and participate in elections. The representatives of the other camp, such as diplomat in exile Arif Mammadov,  express their different opinion: “ After Jamil Hasanli accurately published the MP’s list, all the pretension and imitation became meaningless” ( hinting on the parties, participating in the elections). Gozel Bayramli adds: “ Those who said that we will send both the system and National Council to the history, themselves appeared to be deeply with the system”.

The FB users widely share video of bad reception by the constituency of the pocket opposition and the MP for a  few terms Chingiz Ganizade.

Ordukhan Babirov, the activist in exile, appeals to his followers from abroad:

“ Dear compatriots, my dearest people, do not sell your dignity, your future, your motherland, your family, for the piece of bread, for 3-5 manats, for the kilo of rice.. Do not vote for the animals and people without the honour, who offer you sugar, bread or rice.   They will betray you again. Give your vote to the ones who will provide for the dignified future of the country and the family. Elect not the ones who betray, but who truly is committed!”

Natig Jafarli of REAL analyses the coronavirus and its effect both in Chinese and world economy, bringing statistics of production and consumption decline, economic losses. In the end he writes; “ God protects us from this illness, as there is no reliance on our health system!”

Altay Geyushov comments on Ilham Aliyev’s statement in Davos: “The president stated in World Economic Forum, that there is a unique social equality in Azerbaijan. This means that the minister, the owner of multimillion riches, whose son has 2 mln wise watch and people who complain of poverty on those numerous videos reflecting meetings of the candidates with their constituency- they all live equally?! The world has not seen such a impudence as “Aliyevshina” yet. This is really a catastrophe which hit our people. The earthquake, tsunami, coronavirus etc.- all pale compared to this catastrophe.. And I am not exaggerating, this is true..”

Ali Kerimli places the appeal of the National Council related to the conditions in the Places of Administrative Detentions. The appeal says, that the number of administrative arrests has inadequately increased lately. There is an information that the conditions in the Detention Centres are extremely strict and much worse, than in the colonies where the criminals are held, and remind  the punishment cells in prisons. Besides hard and anti-hygienic conditions, the  detainees, especially the opposition is a subject of inhuman treatment, permanent pressures to remorse, or change their stance to the pro-government one.  The National Council demands from the governemnt to immediately stop this practice, improve conditions, while at the same time appeals to the civil society to keep the issue in the center of attention and be actively involved in resolution of this problem.














January 31, 2020