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Center for National and International Studies



The Karabagh issue and repressions against activists remain the hot topics these days on FB. The other topics  include corruption of bureaucrats , investigation and firing of some of them, …..

The festivities in the occupied by Armenia and traditionally home-town of Azerbaijanis Shusha devoted to inauguration of the “ president” of Nagorno-Karabagh continue to cause comments and be shared among activists, journalists and bloggers. Many connect this situation to the dire condition with democracy in the country, and that the power in the country is not that of people. Some appeal to the people’s will and describes the dilemma- either there will be a government, based on the people’s  or creation of the second Armenian state is inevitable. Arif Mammadov ridicules the president’s expression, that “if needed we will get Karabagh back”. Hezi Bey expresses his feelings in regards the celebration in Shusha and suggests that it is not hard to imagine the feelings of IDPs from Shusha. Bakhtiyar Hajiyev contrasts the situation with the attitude to Karabagh by official Baku to the one in Armenia. While Pashinian, he writes arranges festivities for the Karabaghis, Aliyev  puts the Karabagh war veterans in prison ( Tofig Yagublu and Babek Hasanli). Similarly, the cyberattacks are conducted not against the occupants, but against its domestic critics. “And while Pashinian is building a satte in Karabagh, our authorities are looking for an excuse not togobe 190 manats of state aid to its woon citizens, while buying wtahces for their sons for 2 mln dollars. Who is the enemy then?” The NIDA leader Ilkin Rustamzade  connects the “humiliation in Shusha” to the non-democratic government in the country.  He stresses that being defeated in the 21st century means to fail in education, technologies and democracy. “Armenia is opening Picsart, while all the technology in our country is mobilized against opposition. The Armenian president is receiving and listening to the activists criticizing him, while in our country they are thrown into prison and given tortures. In Armenia people participate in elections, vote and elect its representatives, while in our country people are “represented” by Nigar Arpadarai, whose votes “came out of the pants”. This is the difference. This is what it means to be defeated”.- he concludes.

The young feminist Rabiyya Mammadova criticises the populist calls for a war, expressing her deep sorrow for the innocent young victims being killed almost daily on the front line. Zohrab Ismayil considers that the government should provide all army troops with the free medical insurance, especially to those, who were injured in the battle fields. Eldar Namazov, ex-presidential candidate, comments on the evolution of Pashinian and Mamadyarov’s response. “ When Pashinian said that “Karabagh is Armenia, period!” this was a shot in the head of negotiation process, by his statement that we do not discuss any document and return of lands is not a subject of negotiations” this was a funeral to the Minsk process, and at last the festivities in Shusha– was a remembrance reception for the Minsk process.

The authorities continue to persecute activists and this has been the subject of great concern of FB users. They report about disappearance of the activist Baku Boycott (Fuad Ismayilov) who was recently released after 60 days of arrest for the Fu Mazi graffiti, ridiculing the chair of the Central Electoral Commission Mazahir Panahov. They report about detaining of the PFP activist Avaz Ahmadov by the people of civilian clothes on his exit from the prison after 30 days of imprisonment. Seymur Hezi comments that these arbitrary actions should be stopped, as this only contributes to the people’s anger against the government. Nurlan Libre reports sentencing of the member of D18 movement Jalil Zabitov for 5 months based on 221.1 article of the Criminal Codehooliganism. He cooperated with the website “ Say No to Corruption”. They also report that Babek Hasanli stopped a hunger strike, as he was invited by the head of the 6th colony and listened to him, and Gorkhmaz Mehdiyev was released from the punishment cell. The FB users also share the publication by the Human Rights Watch, which demands release of opposition activists in Azerbaijan, quoting Catherine Pilishvili’s  words about political causes of arrest of Tofig Yagublu. Ali Karimli gives an assessment to the campaign against Popular Front, as well as stresses the difference between the governance in 1992-1993 and the current one by referring to the speech of the ambassador Isfandiyar Vahabzade. Aziz Orujov (Kanal13), reminds of his persecution in 2017, when he was slandered and arrested by the bogus charges of the serious crimes department of the prosecutor’s office. He stresses that nothing has changed since then, and while he was the subject of harassment repeatedly, they did not manage to break him and they continue their project of Kanal13. FB users also share the name of the person – Majidov Rufat Rafiq oglu who falsely testified against the PFP activist prominent sportsman and champion Said Bakuvi and who was imprisoned as a result of slander. Jamil Hasanli reports the story in details. The police sent its agent Rufat Majidov to provoke a fight at the car repair which belongs to Said Bakuvi. However, he fails to achieve its goal, as Bakuvi managed to comfort him and let him go. In spite  of the peaceful outcome, police starts the case of him “stabbing”  Rufat Majidov, and passes it to the court. The head of the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs  Elhan Zahidov said to the Turan agency, that “Said Bakuvi’s party membership has nothing to do with the case. He is blamed for stabbing with knife the citizen at his car repair shop”. However, asserts Jamil Hasanli, so far, there is no witness either to the event itself, or the injures on the body of the “victim” except for the judge, police and the prosecutor. He reminds that the member of the criminal network within the Ministry of National Security, the chief of department of security  in the area of energy and transport, the owner of the 33 mln worth property general Akif Jovdarov confessed that 20% of the criminal cases considered by the Ministry were “made up” with the purpose of extortion and by giving tortures to the owners, under which they would “confess” in these crimes. Hasanli also notes that the other state structures participated in this extortion and made up cases, such as Ministry of Interior, General Prosecutor, Court etc. And this is not over, it continues nowadays too, as the case of Said Bakuvi proves. The cameras in the car repair do not show anything – either the fight, or stabbing. But the concept of law is different in the Aliyev’s kleptocratic regime- it is the system of slander in which police, prosecutors and the court act in consensus. What is the blame of Said Bakuvi? He served in the presidential guard, had high achievements in wrestling. ( was a champion of Europe, won a bronze medal, was a cause of raising Azerbaijani flag at many international competitions) But himself became the victim of the law enforcement system of Azerbaijan, which got out of the Constitutional oversight. Said Bakuvi is one of the victims of the persecution of PFP activists  ( or of chistka- term of the Stalins times) which Ilham Aliyev conducted taking an advantage of the quarantine during COVID19 pandemic. Hasanli stresses, that although he is well known for his sports achievements Bakuvi is a newcomer to the PFP. At the same time, he appealed to his colleagues in sports, who were searching for justice, to join the PFP to stop corruption, social catastrophe, injustice. This is the true reason of the order for his arrest. And while the court has read its sentence, his appeal was not left unanswered. More than hundred applications for membership from the young people were filed  to the PFP headquarters the first day after the quarantine. This is also expression of support for the European and world champion Said Bakuvi, the votes in his favour”-, Hasanli concludes.

Earliere PFP leadership announced that people can use an electronic form for a party membership, as there were many applications recently to the party membership from the population.

The new firing of bureaucrats and appointments to the regional heads of executive positions are met with scepticism and strong criticism by the experts and activists. Gubad Ibadoglu an economic expert and leader of ADR, notes that nepotism and loyalty is primary principle in current appointments ( unlike in the past, when both professionalism and loyalty was taken into account). He brings an example of the newly appointed head of the executive of the Agstafa region Orujov Seymur Vagif oglu of 1984 in Nakhichevan), who is a relative of the rector of the Economic University Shamsaddin Hajiyev , and the MP, chair of Confederation of the Trade Unions Sattar Mehbaliyev. Many discuss the corruption scandals at the State Border Service and the Ministry of Culture. Natig Jafarli of REAL points to the problem in the bureaucracy. He considers that contrary to what people think that the ministers should be professionals in their respective fields, these are usually political appointments. But the problem is that the country’s official leaders do not have a political vision. That’s why the ministers fail too. By his opinion, there should be a professional school for bureaucracy in the country.  Ordukhan Babirov considers that replacement of one bandit– bureaucrat by the other bandit is not a reform, but a swindle. He stresses that “starting with the president ending with the head of the house cooperative (JEK)  are all drown in corruption”. The FB users discuss the property and riches of the minister of foreign affairs Elmar Mammadyarov, which includes among many other 4 mln worth apartment on the name of his children in New York.

The FB users share and report the social issues in the country including resulting from pandemic. People report that in some areas of the city, mainly populated by poor, people do not ware masks.

May 26, 2020