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Azerbaijan Holds Parliamentary Elections

Uncategorised Posted on 2020-02-10 09:35:30

Azerbaijan Holds Parliamentary Elections Baku / 09.02.20 / Turan: Parliamentary elections are held in Azerbaijan on Sunday. Citizens of the country elect 125 deputies of the Milli Majlis.

At 8.00 5,573 polling stations opened, where 5 million 329 thousand 460 voters will be able to vote.

1,314 candidates are fighting for 125 seats in parliament, of which 79 percent are men and 21 percent are women, the head of the CEC, Mazahir Panahov, said at a press conference on the morning of February 9.

In total, 2,431 people applied for participation in the elections.

Of these, 1,637 candidates were registered. However, subsequently 321 people withdrew their candidacy. The registration of two more candidates was canceled by the CEC due to the identification of dual citizenship. And thus the number of candidates was reduced to 1,314.

Among them are representatives of 19 political parties.

Most of the candidates are from the ruling New Azerbaijan Party, which has 123 candidates.

Among the opposition forces, Musavat has the largest number of candidates – 64 (including both party nominees and self-nominees).

The Union of Real Republicans created by the Republican Alternative Party (does not have state registration) and a group of independent candidates has 30 candidates. The Movement block formed by the Nida and D18 movements and a group of independent activists has 16 registered candidates.

77,790 local and 883 international observers are accredited to observe the parliamentary elections.

On 1,000 sites webcams have been installed.

There is no quorum in the elections. The winner is the candidate with the highest number of votes. The voting will end at 19.00.

Preliminary data on the voting results will be announced late on February 9 through the Elections information system.

Mehman Huseynov Informs International Missions about Attempt to Bribe Him

Baku / 09.02.20 / Turan: A candidate for deputy, blogger Mehman Huseynov appealed to the observation missions of the OSCE, OSCE PA and PACE with a call to pay special attention to the elections in the 31st Surakhany second district, where he is running.

Huseynov motivates this by the fact that another candidate Faraj Guliyev tried to bribe him to withdraw the blogger’s candidacy in his favor. Huseynov also reported pressure on members of his team.

Huseynov’s appeal addressed to the OSCE special election coordinator Arthur Gerasimov, head of the OSCE PA delegation Elona Khoja-Gzhebrea, head of the PACE election observation mission Franck Schwabe, all other members of the ODIHR, PACE and OSCE PA election observation missions in particular says:

“I am Mehman Huseynov, a well-known anti-corruption blogger, human rights activist, a former political prisoner from Azerbaijan, and also a candidate for the upcoming parliamentary elections in the 31st constituency. I would like to report a case of an attempt to bribe me. I am a popular candidate in my constituency, given my professional activities and activity on social networks. Therefore, another candidate, already twice becoming a deputy from the same constituency, Faraj Guliyev offered me financial compensation in exchange for me to withdraw from the election and support him. I have evidence of this since I recorded the conversation and made it public.”

Huseynov also regrets that the members of his team, and in particular those who will observe the February 9 elections, “were threatened by the authorities with legal persecution and forms of pressure if they did not ignore possible illegal actions committed during the election this Sunday” .

Huseynov asks to send observers from these missions in order to ensure good elections, fix possible violations and ensure the safety of other observers.

Copies of the appeal were also sent to OSCE PA President Georgy Tsereteli, OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montelle, OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, OSCE ODIHR Director Inhibitor Solrun Gisladottir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Arlem Desir and the independent Azerbaijani news agency Turan.

On February 1, Huseynov released an audio recording of his conversation with Guliyev.

The latter suggested that Huseynov withdraw his candidacy in his favor, promising certain benefits, including money allegedly for treatment.

After a complaint by the blogger on February 5, the CEC limited itself to issuing a warning to Guliyev. At the same time, the head of the CEC, Mazahir Panahov, said that “this is not a final decision.” According to him, the prosecutor’s office is also investigating the incident, and the final decision will be made taking into account the results of the prosecutor’s investigation.

On February 6, the head of the press service of the prosecutor general’s office, Eldar Sultanov, wrote on his Facebook page that the blogger’s appeal was sent to the CEC “to make an appropriate decision.”

Independent lawyers unequivocally stated that Guliyev’s acts contained a corpus delicti and his candidacy should be canceled.

CEC and Prosecutor’s Office “Kick off” Mehman Huseynov’s Complaint about Attempt to Bribe Him

Baku / 08.02.20 / Turan: Neither the CEC nor the prosecutor’s office took any measures in connection with the audio recording made public by the candidate for deputies in the 31st Surakhany second district, on which his rival Faraj Guliyev offered him money.

Guliyev suggested that Huseynov withdraw his candidacy in his favor, promising certain benefits, including money allegedly for treatment.

After the blogger complained on February 5, the CEC limited itself to issuing a warning to Faraj Guliyev. At the same time, the head of the CEC, Mazahir Panahov, said that “this is not a final decision.” According to him, the prosecutor’s office is also investigating the incident, and the final decision will be made taking into account the results of the prosecutor’s investigation.

On February 6, the head of the press service of the prosecutor general’s office, Eldar Sultanov, wrote on his Facebook page that the blogger’s appeal was sent to the CEC “to make an appropriate decision.”

Independent lawyers unequivocally stated that Guliyev’s acts contained a corpus delicti and his candidacy should be eliminated.

Spanish police did not find the thief who stole the Azerbaijani clock

Society Posted on 2019-07-06 12:32:54

Baku/05.07.19 The Spanish police did not find the thief who stole the watch worth $ 1.3 million from the Azerbaijani tourist. Earlier in Azerbaijan they wrote about the cost of watches of the 50-03 McLaren F1 brand at 1 million, then at 1.2 million dollars. However, the Spanish newspaper Diario de Ibiza reported that at about 4:30 in the evening a thief stole from the tourist who was walking at the sea on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza, a watch worth $ 1.3 million.

This story is revealed in a Bloomberg article titled “Who Was the Man Wearing the $ 1.3 Million Watch Stolen in Spain, Azeris Wonder.”

The agency Bloomberg reports that the photo of the report of the Spanish police, which is widespread on social networks, stating that the victim, 25-year-old Azerbaijani citizen Rashad Abdullayev, is real. An informed source added that the report contains Abdullayev’s passport data and contact details, as well as the names of his mother and two friends who were with him in Ibiza.

Azerbaijani opposition parties and human rights activists stated that the victim is the son of Rovnag Abdullayev, the president of the State Oil Company (SOCAR) of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Since 2005, he is a member of parliament. 54-year-old Abdullayev, according to his biography, has a son with the same name and year of birth, writes Bloomberg.

Neither the president of the state-owned company Abdullayev, nor the SOCAR led by him publicly commented on the published information. The press service of SOCAR did not respond to repeated emails or phone calls for several days, while answering business-related questions.

The police report says that Rashad Abdullayev did not answer calls to his mobile phone from the police. The director of communications of the company, manufacturer of watches Richard Mille – Laura Hughes said that the company does not want to comment on the theft, the agency added.

President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly warned government officials, demanding that they not lead an extravagant lifestyle and monitor the behavior of their children. The president threatened to dismiss those who did not comply with his demands. However, the president did not make a statement about the incident that took place in Ibiza on 9 June.

The agency informs readers that the average monthly salary in Azerbaijan is 581 manat ($ 343), according to the State Statistics Committee of the country, which indicates that it is impossible for the overwhelming majority of the population to buy watches worth $ 1.3 million.

In the information block of the report on the theft of watches, Bloomberg recalls the high level of corruption in oil Azerbaijan, which ranked 152 180 on the corruption perception index in 2018, along with Nicaragua and Tajikistan.

The pro-government sites of Azerbaijan, referring to the Russian “AMF” wrote that the stolen watches were fake, their price was $ 1,000, and not more than a million.


Statement from the Middle Ages

Society Posted on 2019-07-06 12:12:46

On July 3 Ali Hasanov, an assistant of the president of Azerbaijan for social and political issues, made a statement in connection with the first anniversary of the Ganja events of 2018, when a native of the city, Yunis Safarov, attempted to assassinate Ganja executive power Elmar Veliyev.

The statement of Hasanov, which is aggressive in its essence, boils down to the fact that this is the work of foreign circles, radical religious groups. Hasanov accuses the secular opposition, civil society and the country’s media in supporting and justifying the attempt, in actions against statehood and national interests.

His statement calls for supporters of the regime to take up arms against all dissidents, who criticize the authorities, and the so-called national interests in the understanding of Hasanov. However, in his statement, Hasanov did not say anything about the social and moral atmosphere in Ganja on the eve of the assassination, from which many years there were complaints and signals about popular discontent with the actions of the chief executive, galloping corruption, and derogatory treatment of citizens by Veliyev.

Hasanov cannot explain why, after the assassination, the social networks throughout the country exploded with jubilation, having learned about the attempted murder of a person for years insulting and harassing the inhabitants of Ganja.

Hasanov cannot explain why society perceived the defender of ordinary people from Robin Hood, the defender of ordinary people from bloodsucking rulers. Why the Internet has covered the orgy of joy, sometimes going beyond the bounds of decency?

Social networks, which cannot be called manageable, in contrast to the media, funded from the black box office of the regime, gave a clear public assessment, from which it follows that Safarov is a hero and Veliyev is an antihero.

According to Hasanov, whose name is often mentioned in corruption, the current government is the conductor and defender of the democratic development of Azerbaijan and the personification of the guarantee of security and stability.

Hasanov often mentions state and national interests. What public interests does the assistant to the president of the country, who ranks last in the world of corruption, suppresses the rights and freedoms of citizens, speak about? Countries that are shaken by international scandals to launder billions of dollars of money stolen from the people, bribing politicians? Corruption is anti-state, anti-national; it undermines the foundations of the state and national security. The last three years testify to that. Society and the state in its mentality rolls back or, if we paraphrase Hasanov, in the Middle Ages.

However, it should be noted that the national interests are determined by the Constitution and, in accordance with the basic law; they are primarily based on such values ​​as freedom and the protection of the rights of the individual citizen. Every person and citizen, regardless of his views, ethnic, political, religious and other affiliation.

The statement of Hasanov shows that the state, which he personifies, sees dissidents as enemies, criminals, traitors who deserve persecution and punishment.

What national interests does Hasanov speak about when the state suppresses the constitutional rights of citizens to freedom of expression, movement, assembly? When social, economic, political rights are suppressed, moral values ​​are degraded, and the rule of law is violated.

Hasanov”s statement should be viewed as a clear message to the world and local community that Azerbaijan will continue to remain a state of violence and obscurantism, intolerance and cruelty, lawlessness and voluntarism.

Hasanov reaffirmed the unshakable policy of the authorities to deepen the crisis in the country, caused by the erroneous policy of the regime, and a false interpretation of state and national interests.

Mehman Aliyev

Государство оплачивает работу свыше 1000 священослужителей

Society Posted on 2018-12-24 16:20:52

“B настоящее время религиозная ситуация в Азербайджане стабильна, процессы и тенденции под контролем”. Об этом заявил глава госкомитета по работе с религиозными структурами Мубариз Гурбанлы в своей статье, опубликованной в сегодняшнем номере официальной газеты “Азербайджан”.

По его словам, в корне возникающих в этой сфере проблем кроются религиозная безграмотность, неверное представление ислама.

Он также сообщил, что Фонд пропаганды духовных ценностей ежемесячно оказывает материальную помощь свыше 1060 священнослужителям, назначенным Управлением мусульман Кавказа.

По словам Гурбанлы, если в советское время в Азербайджане было всего 17 мечетей, то сегодня их число превышает 2250.

Кроме того, на территории страны действует 14 церквей, 7 синагог.

На сегодняшний день в Азербайджане зарегистрированы 877 исламских, 32 – не исламские (21- христианская, 8 – иудаистских, 2 – бахаитские, 1 – кришнаитская ) общин.

Не ясно, что имеет в виду Гурбанлы, кода говорит о контроле над религиозной ситуацией.

Однако правозащитные организации заявляют о преследованиях религиозных активистов за их убеждения. Из 150 политзаключенных около 100 человек являются верующими.

Заявление Гурбанлы о религиозной стабильности контрастирует с официальной версией правоохранительных органов об угрозе религиозного радикализма. Так, по официальной версии, именно исламские радикалы стояли за покушением на бывшего главу Гянджи Эльмара Bелиева и последующих беспорядков в этом городе в июле 2018 г., в результате которых были убиты двое офицеров полиции.

B связи с указанными событиями арестованы около 70 человек.

По Конституции Азербайджана религия отделена от государства. B связи с этим возникает вопрос насколько соответствует принципам светского государства оказание правительством материальной помощи “наместникам” провластного УМК.

Time for Sanctions on Baku

News Posted on 2014-10-04 03:31:07

As the West has turned its attention to the Islamic
State and the Ukraine crisis, the government of President Ilham Aliyev
has expanded its crackdown on dissenting voices in Azerbaijan with
harassment, threats, beatings, and arrests. Even American citizens and
international NGOs have bet caught up in the widening net of repression.
These actions demand a response.

For years, Belarus’s leader
Alexander Lukashenka has been called Europe’s last dictator, although
Vladimir Putin is giving Lukashenka a run for his money, amidst the
worst crackdown on human rights in Russia in decades. And now we might
also add another leader in the region to the list: President Ilham
Aliyev of Azerbaijan.

After an accelerating series of arrests, Aliyev’s government now holds nearly 100 political prisoners,
roughly double the number in Belarus and Russia combined. Beyond the
raw numbers, Azerbaijan’s authorities are also getting more thuggish in
their handling of critics, journalists, and opposition figures—as well
as Westerners.

Statements of concern and criticism from Western and international
officials and organizations have fallen on deaf ears in Baku. Even
President Obama’s recent criticism
of Azerbaijan’s treatment of NGOs made no impact. To the contrary,
there are now credible reports that the Azerbaijani authorities plan to
arrest investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova when she returns to
Baku from a trip abroad. The best way to try to reverse this disturbing
trend is to impose penalties on the Aliyev regime for its outrageous
treatment of its own people.

Among the most egregious abuses are the July 30 arrests
of civil society activists Leyla and Arif Yunus, accused of spying for
Armenian secret services—implausible charges linked to the decades-old
dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. On August 20, journalist Ilgar Nasibov
was savagely beaten
into a state of unconsciousness while he was in the office of a rights
organization in the Naxcivan region. Several leading opposition
figures—including Ilgar Mamedov of the opposition movement REAL and
Tofig Yakublu of Musavat—languish in prison on unsubstantiated charges.

American citizens and organizations are not immune from Azerbaijan’s
heavy-handed intolerance of dissenting voices. Said Nuri, an American
citizen of Azerbaijani origin, was recently blocked for nearly a week
from leaving Baku, after visiting his ailing father. The local offices
of several American and international non-governmental organizations
have been raided and/or their bank accounts frozen, and their employees
harassed including IREX, the National Democratic Institute, Transparency
International, and Oxfam. Several grantees of the National Endowment
for Democracy have been arrested, and numerous others have had their
accounts frozen.

Azerbaijan’s smear campaign has included U.S. officials, too.
Recently departed U.S. Ambassador Richard Morningstar was subjected to
various personal attacks by Azerbaijani government representatives,
including the Chief of the Presidential Administration, Ramiz Mehdiyev.
Senate staffers during a visit to Baku earlier this year were called
“dogs” by a prosecutor and “spies” by a parliamentarian after meeting
with Khadija Ismayilova.

Any individual or organization that criticizes Aliyev or promotes
democracy is viewed as hostile. Mehdiyev has characterized independent
media as “anti-Azerbaijani forces” financed from abroad.

The Council of Europe’s human rights chief, Nils Muiznieks, slammed
the Azerbaijani government earlier this month for the “totally
unacceptable” human rights situation, which, he said,
“flies in the face of the human rights obligations undertaken by
Azerbaijan” as a member of the Council. In August, several UN human
rights envoys said they were “appalled” by the growing number of abuses
and arrests of rights activists “on the basis of trumped-up charges.”
The “criminalization of rights activists must stop,” they declared, calling for the release of the Yunuses and others.

For years, Azerbaijan’s oil and gas reserves insulated the country
from exposure for its abysmal human rights record. The West’s attention
lately has been focused on the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the challenge
of the Islamic State, giving the Aliyev regime a sense that it can get
away with its crackdown. To be safe, at last month’s NATO summit it offered
to take part in investment and reconstruction projects in Afghanistan,
betting that contributions to the allied effort would buy it a pass on
its internal situation. Azerbaijan has also thrown around lots of the
money it has earned from energy exports to buy influence and friends in the West.

Azerbaijani authorities often argue that they live in a tough
neighborhood—sandwiched between Russia and Iran and with an unresolved
conflict with Armenia—and that this should excuse them for their
behavior. Geopolitics, however, shouldn’t shield Azerbaijan from
criticism for treating its citizens and Western organizations as

It’s time, therefore, for the United States to apply a law modeled on
the 2012 Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law and Accountability Act to
authorities in Baku. A number of Azerbaijani activists have called for
such measures. Given the reported assets the Aliyev family and its
circle hold overseas, freezing their assets and denying them access and
travel to the West might just do the trick. The State Department should
also issue a travel warning to American citizens alerting them of the
surveillance, harassment, and possible detention they might face in

At a time when Vladimir Putin is continuing Russia’s aggression
against Ukraine, some will argue that, for geopolitical reasons, this is
not the time for the United States to get tough on Azerbaijan. There is
never a good time to take such steps, but the situation inside
Azerbaijan demands a response now. Further Western expressions of
“concern” or characterizations of the situation as “unacceptable” would
sound increasingly hollow. The Aliyev regime must understand that there
are consequences for its abuses.

David J. Kramer and Richard Kauzlarich

Published on October 2, 2014

«The American Interest»

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