Center for National and International Studies



 The FB users continue to share and discuss the video of the closed meeting of the National Council, an interview of the co-rapporteur of the PACE on Azerbaijan Stephan Schennach to the Voice of America, the relations within the opposition camp, persecution of the activists, reaction to it by the REAL’s  chair, arrests and corruption scandals of the bureaucrats, the state aid for unemployed, Pashinian’s anti-Rasulzade speech in Armenia and “elections” in Karabagh, the horrifying story of the family in the refugee camp, protests in Moscow at the God Nisanov’s objects,  creation of the new platform Biz ( Us), the report by the US state department about HR violations in the country.

The illegal recoding and leaking to the internet  of the internal meeting of the National Council ( NC) aggravated divisions within the opposition camp and the FB community. Some FB users stress the low level of the political culture of members of NC, some- insincerity, others stress illegal nature of the recording and leaking it  to the internet. The latter is interpreted differently by the groups depending on their attitude to the NC and PFP- those, who are not sympathetic to them, argue that it was leaked from within the organization, rather than the government. Nurlan Libre complains that after he criticized NC, “they have directed their trolls against me”. The FB users widely and critically commented on the reaction to the continued arrests of the activists by REAL chair Ilgar Mammadov, particularly his words, that he “would not be surprised if not only ordinary members of the opposition parties, but their leaders too will be arrested, because by refusing of a dialogue they awake the government’s anti-democratic instincts”. (FB 15 May 10:20 AM) Saadet Jahangir , an PFP activist, comments: “The messenger of the 254 thousand worth dialogue on the white horse brought the message, that those who declined an offer of a dialogue will be arrested. Rauf Mirgadirov asked him a good question: Are you sure you are involved in politics?” Ilkin Rustamzade comments that “ while before, the threats of arrests were sent by the government via minister of interior , now Ilgar Mammadov got involved in this affair. There is no place for jokes or laughter here”..Nurlan Libre jokes, that the authorities “did not yet spread the video of the internal Zoom meeting of REAL party, because between each other they speak academic Russian language. Even if they leak it, nobody will understand it. They are looking for the professional interpreter so they could upload it straight to Netflix.”Alasgar Ahmedoglu appeals to people to stop watch and discuss internal meetings of the National Council, but demand the life broadcasting of the parliamentary hearings.

Gozel Bayramli reports that the number of infected by COVID-19 in the colony 13 reached more than 90, she demands to resolve the issue urgently, as health of prisoners, including the political prisoners, such as Saleh Rustamov and Babek Hasanov is under serious threat. The prison 14 was announced as the one on quarantine. The FB users share alarming news about charges in financing terrorism submitted to the bodyguard of Ali Karimli and PFP activist Niyamaddin Ahmadov, who was held in administrative detention, interrogated for days under reported tortures and was due to be released on the 15 May. According to the article 214-1 this crime us punished by 10-14 years in prison. Khadija Ismayilova reporst that he is alleged to plot against number 1. The lawyer Zibeyda Sadigova was not invited to the hearing. Ali Karimli of PFP reports that the government continues to hack websites, profiles and telephone numbers of the activists. The most recent was hacking of the FB profile of the PFP Youth Committee. The activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev reports continuous calls of harassment  and hacking of his Whatsapp, FB and other accounts.  Hikmet Hajizade reports about blocking of the website of the Azadlig Newspaper, while Turan agency’s website was also the subject of cyberattack, after they published the PFP statement about repressions against their activists on the 15th may. The FB users widely shared the interview of the co-rapporteur of PACE  on Azerbaijan Stephan Schennach to the Voice of America, where he gave an assessment to the current repressions in the country, in particular, that he mentioned repressions against Ali Karimli, and his idea, that “the reasons of the authorities’ aggressiveness towards opposition, is that either we prepared very strict report, or the opposition is successful”. The other quotation is his opinion about the new delegation of the MM to PACE, where he says that t”here is no opposition in the delegation” ( in spite of the presence of REAL MP Erkin Gadirli)

The driver of the car which passed before the car of the new minister of interior Vilayet Eyvazov was detained by police, was forced to clean the toilet and then ask for remorse before the video camera, reports Ilkin Rustamzade. The person whose video was spread by the police, send the message to his parents that he will commit a suicide upon his release from the detention center. “ The country is gradually is returning to the 1937”,- comments Rustamzade. Gozel Bayramli reports about detention of the PFP activist Said Mammadzade ( Bakuvi)  in the street  by 4 people in civilian clothes while he was walking his child to school and taken in unknown location.She also reports about devastating condition of Agil Humbatov, who is forcibly treated in psychiatric clinic for his criticism of authorities. She reports further about call into the police office of the PFP activist ( who recently was released after administrative detention) Namig Abbasaliyev. Jamil Hasanli writes the story of Abbas Huseyn, a political prisoner, who is currently on hunger strike in prison. Abbas Huseyn is a Nardaran events prisoner. They have already discovered 30 people in prison infected with COVID-19, and he protests the unbearable conditions of the prison he is in. He is not allowed to receive items brought from home, but forcing them to buy them from the prison shop, where prices are 5 times higher. Jamil Hasanli who participated in the Nardaran process until the end of it told that he survived by accident. The official statistics of the Ministry of Interior showed the number 7 of killed during the operation, but they were 6, because the 7th was Abbas Huseyn, who survived. While the detained were transported  in the furniture truck to the police department, Ferahim Bunyadov was beaten up to death, his brother Rafael was killed earlier in the staged operation in the village. Taleh Bagirzade was beaten and  his spine broke. Abbas Huseyn was so savagely beaten that they considered him dead and included in the list of killed. But they did not forgive him his survival. He went through the “meat grinding machine” of the Bandotdel. In Garadag prison court yard he was chained to the iron stick at 42 degrees of heat and they were many things which we cannot even imagine. They are all political prisoners, who went through tortures, and whose bodies  have the traces of the electroshock. Deefnece of these people is the issue of human conscience.

The FB users keep in the center of attention the arrests of the bureaucrats and “cleaning” of their ministries. The next after Ministry of Culture was the State Border Troops Service, which was also accused of corruption. This caused commentaries, that how come that the president did not know they were corrupt, – this means they were not sending the share of the stolen money up in the “pyramid “(Abulfaz Karayev of Ministry of Culture and Elchin Guliyev of Border Service). The report about protests in Moscow Food city complex belonging to the Moscow businessman of Azerbaijani Jewish origin  God Nisanov by the traders against the rise of the rent price were also shared by the FB users. The FB users also report the sacking of the head of executive of Saatli region..

They also continue the topic of corruption, nepotism, ineffectiveness, non-professionalism of the governance. Bakhtiyar Hajiyev considers the Square of State Banner the symbol of this governance, as many millions manat were spent on creation of this square, but in 5 years they failed to raise the single banner to the 150 meters height. Ulvi Hasanli writes about government’s tricks with reforms. The new General prosecutor Kamran Aliyev has sacked the nephew of the ex-minister of transport Ziya Mammadov and the official media is widely publicize it. In reality, he was sacked from the prosecutor’s assistant position  only to be appointed a prosecutor of the department monitoring the execution of the laws in the activities of the State Security Services and other structures.

The FB users also discuss the speech  by the president of Armenia Pashinian who targeted this time the founder of the first Azerbaijani Republic M. E. Rasulzade, blaming him for cooperation with Nazi Germany. The activists commented that this unites Pashinian with the president Aliyev who also used the same cliché in anti-Rasulzade propaganda. The readers quote article in Regnum, which develops an idea, that both presidents are playing a common game in regards Karabagh. They also focus on “elections” and their results in Karabagh, as well as posting information about settlements and construction on the occupied territories, as well as continue the issue of the Iranian project on the occupied territories of Jabrayil. They criticize the lack of response of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the “ elections”, and visit of the Armenia President to Shusha, as well as his words that there is a “sincere and trustworthy atmosphere” of the talks with Azerbaijani president. One of the commentators asks: Why is possible to speak in sincere and trusted atmosphere with the president of the country-aggressor, but not with its own citizens?” The activists report that among 33 elected members of the Karabagh “parliament” 5 parties will be represented. In the second round of the “presidential” elections the winner was Araik Arutyunian, which will be inaugurated in Shusha on May 21st. The activists contrast these developments to the involvement of Azerbaijani public in the discussion of National Council video, and private lives of popular singers.

Gubad Ibadoglu announced creation of the platform BIZ ( Us) where the leading public personalities unite and can develop common for the society objectives. The platform has a purpose to restore trust of pubic in changes in the society and develop a sense of solidarity, uniting identity and the common cause. It advocates the supremacy of human rights, freedoms, rule of law, universal human values.

People share with strong emotional comments the information about the story in the IDP and refugee camp of the Lachin region which was under Armenian occupation since 1992. The story took place in the village Takhtakorpu of Agjabedi region, where the teenage daughters of the couple with development problems were systematically abused by the police, taxi drivers etc. The female writer Gunel Movlud, who was a refugee herself from the occupied regions, currently living in Norway and writing the book about the refugee camps comments that most probably, similar to the story which happened in their camp, nobody condemned the men, but the girl- calling her “ a slut”, “  it was with her agreement”, “ she has gotten a spoiled blood” or smth like that. , but nobody helped her.

FB users continue to discuss the dire social-economic situation in the country. Gubad Ibadoglu comments on the economy of the country. He mentions that the country, which only in the last 15 years got an oil income of 150 bln dollars and of  the foreign investments of 270 billion dollars rolled down to poverty in a short period of time. The number of unemployed has been significantly increasing last two months. However, the government is indifferent to the causes of this process. This will lead to the sharp decrease of the economic activities in the nearest future. And this will be realized at the expanse of the reduction of jobs, which in turn will lead to exhaustion of the social funds. This requires increase of transparency, access to the data and information, independent judiciary, and fight with corruption, bringing the major funds of the country in correspondence with the modern requirements, and privatize big business.

May 19, 2020