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Center for National and International Studies




Tofig Yagublu: “I am dying…. I dedicate this struggle to Mammad Emin Rasulzade..”

The FB community continues to keep the issue of political prisoner Tofig Yagublu, who has been 16 days on hunger strike in the centre of attention. The campaign in his defence, is widening and is joined by prominent personalities of arts and culture, such as a writer Rustam Ibrahimbekov and member of  UNESCO Artists Association  Ashraf Heybatov. Activists continue to commemorate the day of liberation of Azerbaijan from Bolshevik- Dashnak forces by the Turkish Army in 1918, react to and decry FB status of the deputy chair of the ruling party Ali Ahmadov, full of blames and insults of opposition, discuss the Russian education in the country; continued arrests of activists, poor governance.

The FB community continues to campaign for defence of Tofig Yagublu member of Musavat and NDCF,  who started third week of his hunger strike: Some assert that putting him in the hospital is the government’s attempt to change an agenda and demand his immediate release. His family doctor prof. Adil Geybulla reported that “ The health of Tofig Yagublu is in critical condition, we may witness heart failure or any other tragic event any moment”.  The activists of Musavat party continue the hunger strike in solidarity with Tofig Yagublu and were visited by the leadership of the party. ADR movement’s Board  held a meeting devoted to the critical condition of Yagublu and listened to the report of his state of health by prof. Adil Geybulla, which was concluded by denouncement of criticism of his  decision to transfer Yagublu to the hospital and by demands to stop blaming campaign against the doctor. Gubad Ibadoglu, the leader of ADR, proposes to submit Tofug Yagublu’s candidacy to the Nobel Peace Prize. FB community shares the statements of prominent personalities of art and culture, such as the writer, Oscar prize winner, presidential candidate Rustam Ibrahimbekov, the member of the UNESCO Artists Association Ashraf Heybatov, who appealed to the art and culture representatives to come up in defence of Tofig Yagublu. He stresses that Tofig Yagublu just said the truth louder and more courageously than the others and that by his hunger strike he proved that he has courage, which not everyone has, and his release would be not only the victory of the society but also the government, which declared course on reforms. Blogger and journalist Mehman Huseynov, who is in the hospital recovering from the removal of the cancer tumour appealed to the FB community to express solidarity and save Tofig Yagublu the same way they saved him ( the crowdfunding for his medical treatment in two days raised 83 thousand euros- L.A.)  The women – activists held a protest action in defence of Tofig Yagublu. In front of the City Hospital. Ulvi Hasanli is commenting on why the president does not release Tofig Yagublu. He considers it meaningless, because if he dies the responsibility will be on the president. In general, he considers the policies unreasonable: “ they have started the game of “reforms”, initiated fake dialogue, but then putting Tofig Yagublu in prison on obviously trumped up charges neutralize everything, may be 5-10% of the population believes he conducts reforms, but now they do not make an imitation of reform”. Agil Layij the lawyer of Yagublu reports that he managed to get a meeting with his defendant only at the 4th trial, and his health has worsening day by day. He refuses the feeding devices and will do it until  injustice ends, confirms a good treatment both in the hospital and by doctor Geybulla and asks to stop political manipulations and blaming the doctor. His daughter also confirms that Yagublu is exceedingly week, his blood test was very bad, and if he is not released, he may die any moment. Her quotation of him are widely shared by FB community ”I am dying. I do not have any forces. I do not know how much I have left. But I just want you to know that I dedicate this struggle to Mammad Emin Rasulzade. This way I also show my solidarity with Belarus people, struggling for democracy”. Ilkin Rustamzade shares his hard experience of hunger strike in prison, commenting that at such moment one thinks that he sacrifices his body for the awakening of the people’s conscience. He appeals to people by stating that keeping silence means absence of conscience and that Tofig Yagublu should be free. The activist and democracy promoter Anar Mammadli recalls his experience in prison with Tofig Yagublu, which he shared in 2014. He writes, that when he complained how difficult it is to be behind the bars, while the country is in such difficult political situation, Tofig Yagublu responded, that “most important is to preserve our dignity and leave this place dignified”. He comments that he is a very serious person and living dignified life takes so seriously, that decided to have an endless hunger strike. But this country is governed in such a non-serious way, that they still do not understand his goal, Mammadli concludes. Ali Karimli presents the list of 32 Karabagh veterans from Jabrail region who demand  freedom to Tofig Yagublu. FB community shares reflection of the situation with Tofig Yagublu in Polish media “New Eastern Europe”- article by Ana Zamejc. They also share the information that the Current Times TV in Russian language dedicated a special report to Tofig Yagublu. FB users comment with indignation the FB status by the deputy leader of YAP Ali Ahmadov, who blames “radical opposition” for the state of health of Tofig Yagublu, calls it “immoral”  and accuses it in political manipulation by his situation. Seymur Hezi calls it “the second Elmar Huseynov syndrome”, and whether the president needs it now. Shahveled Chobanoglu reacts with the statement, that not the radical opposition, but president Aliyev , with his both old and new, educated abroad, team arrested him on fake charges. He warns that this is a criminal act, which would be recorded in the future reports for the history, and which will harm their own descendants, that’s why Tofig Yagublu should be immediately released. Ganimad Zahid comments that people like Ali Ahmadov cannot even comprehend how can one risks its life for principles. The response and reactions to Ali Ahmadov’s FB status by many activists – such as Jamil Hasanli, Bakhtiyar Hajiyev – were shared and spread on FB. Sevinj Osmangizi broadcasted the programme answering the question what will president Aliyev do with the both domestic and international pressure growing?

People continue to discuss the governance issues. Bakhtiyar Hajiyev appeals to Aliyev on his timeline that if he has any time left after opening ceremonies of the bus stops, underground street crossings, or 80 km wide parks, he should get interested in how his citizens are being humiliated and their rights violated in the state agencies. He suggests to send couple  of employees of the State Intelligence agency in civilian clothes to the Deposit Insurance Fund to see in which way they speak to the citizens, how they try to cheat them with the illegal operations, send them back and forth, and how citizens as a result curse both the president himself and the whole government. It is much more advanced and respectful to the citizens management system at the Sadarak market, Bina Trade Center or in Ivanovka kolkhoz, that in the state organs like DIF. In its backwardness he compares the governance system to the times of Jalil Mammad Guluzade ( early 20th century) who authored satirical stories. He concludes that while the opened by Aliyev parks, underground crossings,  etc are the creations of masters in that field the failing governance system in the country is his and his cadres’ creation. He suggests the FB users to apply to the court and offers a legal aid. Habib Muntazir  discloses deputy chair of YAP Ali Ahmadov’s  lavish properties in Buzovna village near Baku with 2 hectars of land and residence with two swimming pools etc.

The arrests and detentions are continued. FB community shares ADR statement  about arrest of this movement’s member Huseyn Maliki, who was given  15 days of administrative detention  (535.1 of Administrative code – resistance to the legal order of the police). The statement asserts that the police came to his home, and took him from there to the police station, and that the case is based on mere slander and is a political order. They also attract attention to the court hearing on case of the Mubariz Masimov a businessman who was blamed to be member of FETO group and tried. FB users share with concern the news that the health of Baba Suleyman, the PFP activist, who was arrested with many others due to participation in the Karabagh rally in July, has seriously worsened. Seymur Hezi publishes the full list of the PFP activists who are arrested on trumped up charges:Fuad Gahramanli, Asif Yusifi, Mammad Ibrahim, Agil Ali Maharram, Bakhtiyar Imanov, Ayaz Maharramli, Babek Hasanli, Niyameddin Ahmedov, Elzamin Salayev, Elchin Ismayilli, Pasha Umudov, Ramid Nagiyev, Ismayil Hasanov, Jeyhun Novruzov, Telman Seyfullayev, Mahabbat Nagiyev, Saleh Rustamov, Mahammad Imanli, Mushfig Guliyev, Elnur Jabbarli, Seymur Ahmadzade, Orkhan Bakhishli, Baba Suleyman, Gunduz Mirzayev. Ali Karimli of PFP reports the discrediting research by Buzz Feed News portal, where the Azerbaijan government is reported to have used thousands of fake FB accounts to attack opposition. He also reports that in Mingechavir police stopped the car of the PFP activist and took him to the police station only for his carrying the photo of Tofig Yagublu at the front window of his car. Ali Karimli also reports that the chair of the Majlis of the Popular Front Party’s Khazar branch Mehriban Huseynli was stolen while walking street  in the evening to her home, with blinded eyes was taken in the car to the police station for the “explanatory talks”.

The family of Fuad Gahramanli expressed their high concern regarding his state of health , as the last time he called on the 1st September and asked to send him medicine, clothes, food. Acig Azerbaijan reports that notorious Kurban Mammadov, who was in exile in London was detained in Turkey.

The debate on education in Russian language started by the opposition activist and democracy promoter Hikmet Hajizade continues. He reminded that majority of the democratic government of Azerbaijan People’s Republic in 1918 were educated in Russian language. The lawyer Aslan Ismayilov warns, that the problem is that paid with the budget money education in Russian language in the country is increasing at the expanse of teaching of Azerbaijan language and as a proof reminds the cancellation of the course of “Modern Azerbaijani Language” at the department of journalism in 2020-2021 year. He also reminds, that expanding Russian education, while most of the minorities living in Azerbaijan still do not have education in their language, is not justified.

The leader of the party (?) Panah Huseyn posted the speech of Mammad Emin Rasulzade on occasion of the liberation of Azerbaijan by the  Turkish army of Nuru Pasha in 1918. His speech reflects exceedingly difficult conditions of establishment of the first democratic republic, struggle for the right to have a sovereign state and pressure of Bolsheviks, who openly said that Azerbaijanis do not deserve independence, and is concluded by the words: “Long Live Turkish Army, Long Live Turan”. The political opposition, activists, bloggers continue to celebrate the 102 anniversary of the liberation of Azerbaijan by the Turkish forces in 1918. The videos with police trying to create obstacles during the marches of the NCDF and Musavat party circulated on FB accompanied by critical comments on the fact of near 100 special police force who surrounded the monument of the Turkish Army. Most of them mention the role of “Russian agent” in the country  the chief of Military Headquarters Najmaddin Sadikhov. Habib Muntazir reports the clashes between police and population of the village Husenli of Terter region and Dordyol settlement of Agdam region, because police tried to put down the state flags of Turkey and Azerbaijan, the event then transformed in the protest action “Karabagh”.

FB users discuss the case of the sister of Karam Hasanov the ex-head of the State Property Committee  Reyhan Hasanova, who sued  the fortune teller, whose black magic did not work in regards the government career of her brother in spite she paid her half a million manat. The department of serious crimes opened a criminal case  against the fortune teller based on article178.4 ( the scam in particularly high scale) Habib Muntazir asks people to share  this information, so everyone becomes aware of where the country’s money are spent for and in what kind of meaningless, stupid and fraudulent people’s hands they are. Ilkin Muradov reports that the head of executive office of Shamkir region justified destruction of the mosque by the necessity to build the house for the Karabagh victim’s family. He comments that this could be done at any other place without destroying the mosque. Besides the person who recorded this event on video Eldar Gasimov was arrested for 20 days. He also reports about the second case of the BakuBus  broke/burned in September. People share news that Ethics Commission of Milli Majlis decreed a provision, that if the MP violates rules, or makes an accident, but apologizes- he might be not held accountable.

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