В Азербайджане выдвижение новых обвинений в отношении политзаключенных, срок ареста которых вот-вот завершится, и продление тюремного заключения уже превратилось в тенденцию, считают представители общественности. Особенно резонансным стал случай с находящимся под арестом молодым блогером Мехманом Гусейновым, но это далеко не единственный подобный случай. Мейдан ТВ вспоминает, скольким политзаключенным за последние годы были продлены сроки ареста на основе новых обвинений.
19 января в Баку запланирован митинг оппозиционных сил в знак поддержки блогера Мехмана Гусейнова, против которого были выдвинуты новые обвинения за пару месяцев до истечения срока заключения, и других политзаключенных. Митинг согласован с бакинской мэрией.
Read more “Новая форма давления на политзаключенных”
Mehman Huseynov, who was imprisoned in 2017 after posting incriminating photographs of properties he claimed were owned by government officials, was set to be released in March of 2019. However, new charges have been brought against him which carry a five to seven year prison sentence if found guilty.
Read more “Blogger Mehman Huseynov on hunger strike”
Chingiz Sultansoy “So I remembered this pain”
The former deputy of the Milli Majlis, the former head of the Press Service of the Ministry of Defense of the Azerbaijan Republic, Eldar Sabiroglu, published his Facebook status on his son’s page. He told how his son is being tortured in custody. His son Rufat Safarov has been deprived of his freedom for the third year. At the end of 2015, the investigator of the Zardab district prosecutor’s office, R.Safarov, made a bold and sensational statement about corruption and lawlessness in law enforcement, then resigned and was soon arrested, of course. The authorities do not forgive such statements.
Read more “Boomerang law. After all, life does not end tomorrow”
Opposition leader Ali Karimli, who was detained together with more than 50 other people for participating in what authorities have criticized as an unauthorized rally, was released again on Monday, 19 November, after having been fined ₼2,500 ($1,470).
Read more “Ali Karimli and other activists fined and released, three sentenced to prison”
Azad Hasanov, Musavat party member and political exile living in Lithuania, has been arrested during a short return to his home country and charged with drug trafficking.
According to his lawyer, Osman Kazimov, the Khatai District Court sentenced him to four months in detention on drug-related charges. Under Article 234.4.3 (illegal manufacturing, purchase, storage, transportation, transfer or selling of sale of drugs), Hasanov faces between five and twelve years in prison.
Read more “Political émigré who returned home to visit critically ill father arrested on drug-related charges (updated)”
What else you can expect from such government?
On 3 October, Azerbaijani journalist Aytaj Ahmadova was detained while filming a protest in Zabrat, a settlement close to Baku.
A group of citizens had been protesting against their desolate living conditions, demanding that the government renovated their unsafe homes which are in danger of collapsing.
Read more “Journalist Aytaj Ahmadova detained and physically pressured”
The number of political prisoners in Azerbaijan remains approximately the same from year to year. The president regularly signs pardon decrees but the “vacancies” on bunk beds in prisons are quickly occupied by newly-arrived opponents of the political elite of Azerbaijan.
The following is a Meydan TV report about how the possibility of pardon is used to manipulate political prisoners and how the prisoners themselves have become bargaining chips in the Azerbaijani government’s foreign policy.
Read more “To punish or pardon?”
Azerbaijani society has never been tolerant toward sexual minorities, but no one expected the cruel and large-scale violence that occurred last year. At least a hundred people were humiliated, beaten and raped. People who were suspected of being gay were blackmailed and warned not to walk in the central streets of Baku. Meydan TV investigated the possible reasons for the police violence immediately after it happened last year and we now return to this topic to find out what has changed in Azerbaijan over the past year.
Read more “Azerbaijan a year after the LGBT raids: has anything changed in Europe’s most homophobic country?”
In a $170 million settlement paid to the US government for bribery cases in six countries, Rolls-Royce has admitted that it paid $7.8 million in bribes to SOCAR, the Azerbaijan state-owned oil and gas company.
The bribes were paid by the company’s American affiliate Rolls-Royce Energy Systems (RRESI) in order to ensure large orders of turbines in Azerbaijan. The US Justice Department filed the suit because an American company was involved and because it considered SOCAR to be “controlled by the Azeri government and performed government functions for Azerbaijan.”
Read more “Rolls-Royce admits bribes to SOCAR”
Through opaque contracts, an Azerbaijani cargo airline once linked to the ruling Aliyev family has an impressive range of business partners — including the US military.
A cargo airline owned by a company with past ties to Azerbaijan’s ruling Aliyev family won some lucrative contracts from the U.S. military, according to documents obtained in 2016 through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed in the U.S. by a reporter for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).
In late 2005, as the war in Afghanistan was in its fourth year, the U.S. government began contracting with the carrier, Silk Way Airlines, to transport ammunition and other non-lethal materials to U.S.-trained Afghan forces and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the country.
Read more “Silk Way Airline once linked to Azerbaijan’s ruling family got US loan guarantees, military contracts, planes”