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Editorials

Pressure on Aliyev Works - Azeri Report Editorial
Persian Racism and "Aryan Supremacy" Irritate Largest Ethnic Minority in Iran-by Umud Duzgun
US does not support Azerbaijan. It supports Aliyevs - Azeri Report Editorial
31 Hours Marooned at Azerbaijan’s Airport - by Giorgi Gogia
Free Khadija Ismayilova - by Arch Puddington
“Please Give Us More Time to Imprison and Kill Our Political Opponents…” - by Ganimat Zahid
Azerbaijan Undermines Its International Image: Does it matter for Aliyev Government? - by Alakbar Raufoglu
Washington's Darling Ambassador - Azeri Report Editorial
Open Letter to Secretary Kerry: Why US is Betraying Its Friends and Values in Azerbaijan? - by Elmar Chakhtakhtinski
A Letter from an Azerbaijani Prison... - by Khadija Ismayilova
37 Continues: Aliyev Regime Practices Hostage Taking - by Ganimat Zahid
A Man Like Khadija - by Seymur Hazi
The Two Faces of Azerbaijan's Government - by Altay Goyushov
Khadija Ismayilova Arrested as Journalist and Human Rights Defender - by Rebecca Vincent
Azerbaijan Where Justice is a Prisoner - by Vugar Gojayev
Brenda Shaffer's Conflicts of Interest - by Casey Michel
Iranian Government Is Killing Lake Urmia - by Umud Duzgun
"Dark Times" in Azerbaijan - by Veronika Szente Goldston
What is Going On in Azerbaijan and Its NGO Sector - by Ali S. Novruzov
The Price of Tyranny Will Be Paid in Blood in Azerbaijan - by Elmar Chakhtakhtinski
The Parallel Realities of President Ilham Aliyev - by Giorgi Gogia
"Allahu Akbar" and Social Mutation - by Ganimat Zahidov
Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe: Crisis of Legitimacy - by Vugar Gojayev
The Iranian Delirium of Azerbaijani Regime's Proponents - by Elmar Chakhtakhtinski
The Georgian and Azerbaijani Elections: A Postmortem - by Richard Kauzlarich
How Europe Failed Azerbaijan - by Aslan Amani
Azerbaijan: The Challenges of Selling Oil Rich State’s Massive Electoral Fraud to the US Public - by Elmar Chakhtakhtinski
Corrupt Dictator Is Challenged by a Scholar in Azerbaijan’s Presidential Elections - by Elmar Chakhtakhtinski
EU and Azerbaijan: Setting the Record Straight - by Eldar Mamedov
How Azerbaijan is Like 'The Godfather' - by Michael Weiss
Karabakh and Democracy: Putting Carriage Before the Horse - by Elmar Chakhtakhtinski
Azerbaijan Stirred, Not Shaken by Turkish Protests - by Shahla Sultanova
Abulfaz Elchibey and Democracy - by Irena Lasota
The EU and Azerbaijan: Mismatched Objectives - by Giorgi Gogia
Presidential Elections in Iran Mean Nothing for Iran's Ethnic Minorities - by Umud Duzgun
A Double Standard Won't Do for Baku - by Eldar Mamedov
Open Letter to American Participants of US-Azerbaijan Convention in Baku - by Elmar Chakhtakhtinski
When the Music Dies... - by Rebecca Vincent
Azerbaijani FM's Diplomatic Trip to Isreal Tweaks Tehran - by Shahin Abbasov
Sound Bites Aside... - by Andy Heil
Oil and Stability in Azerbaijan - by Lucy Wallwork
Azerbaijan & Iran: A Soft-Power Struggle? - by Eldar Mamedov
A Tale of Two Azerbaijanis - by Murad Gassanly
"Notebook About Cuba" of Vahid Gazi - Story of "Island of Freedom" - by Rustam Ibragimbekov
South Azerbaijan Is Not Iran - By Umud Duzgun
Azerbaijan and EU: Recalibrating Relations? - by Eldar Mamedov

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OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS

OCCRP Investigation: Azerbaijani President's Banking Business
OCCRP Investigation: Offshores Close to President Aliyev Paid Nothing for State Share of Telecom
U.S. Lawmakers Traveling to Azerbaijan Urged Action Benefiting SOCAR which Funded Their Trip
Political Prisoner Seymur Hazi's Final Statement
SOCAR Chief's Son Does "Charity" with Public Funds - by Khalid Kazimov
TeliaSonera’s Behind-the-Scenes Connection to Azerbaijani President’s Daughters- by Khadija Ismayil
Ali Hasanov's Media Business: Journalist Investigation by Khadija Ismayilova
The Corleones of the Caspian - by Michael Weiss, Foreign Policy
Azerbaijani Police Fires Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas at Protesting Small Business Owners
AZAD Letter Supports the Removal of Heydar Aliyev Statue from Mexico City

What is to be Done With Pseudo-Democracies. Hikmat Hajizade's Presentation on January 25, 2012

EMDS Final Report on Azerbaijan's Parliamentary Elections on November 7, 2010

"Resource Nationalism Trends In Azerbaijan, 2004-2009," Research by Vugar Gojayev, March 2010

February 16, 2010 - NHC Report: "Nakhchivan: Azerbaijan's Dark Island"

"End of Term Limits. Monarchical Presidencies on the Rise," by Farid Guliyev, Harvard International Review, Feb. 28, 2009
"Imitation Democracies," by Dmitri Furman, New Left Review, Nov/Dec. Issue, 2008

Politics of Energy: Comparing Azerbaijan, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia - by Jos Boonstra, Edward

Burke and Richard Young, FRIDE, September 2008
Azeri Minister of Interior Helped Georgian Government To Suppress Opposition In November 2007

Azerbaijan's 2005 Parliamentary Elections: A Failed Attempt At Transition - by Valerie J. Bunce and Sharon L. Wolchik

Christopher Walker Attacked Azeri Dictatorship At Helsinki Commission
Praise to Dictator
US Lobbying Firm Accused of Accepting Bribes from Azeri Government to Discredit Opposition

90 Years Anniversary of First Muslim Democracy - Azerbaijan Democratic Republic

Last Words of Ganimat Zahid

Syndicate

Interesting Read

Standard And Poor's Downgrades Azerbaijan's Debt To 'Junk'

BAKU. February 1, 2016 (RFE/RL): The credit ranging agency Standard and Poor's has downgraded Azerbaijan’s debt rating by one notch to BB+ in a warning to potential investors that Azerbaijan’s government bonds are considered speculative "junk."

The ratings agency says it now expects Azerbaijan’s economy to contract during 2016, despite a devaluation of the currency.

The downgrade, which will make it more expensive for the government in Baku to borrow money by issuing bonds, comes as Azerbaijan’s economy continues to suffer from falling global oil prices and as the central bank's foreign-currency reserves are dwindling.

Standard and Poor's warned that Azerbaijan depends too much on oil prices, adding that "external risks are increasing, with the central bank’s foreign-currency reserves declining by two-thirds from their mid-2014 peak."

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IMF, World Bank Considering Aid Package For Azerbaijan

BAKU. January 28, 2016 (RFE/RL): The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank are discussing a possible aid package for Azerbaijan to help it cope with hardships brought on by a steep drop in oil prices.

An IMF team is due in Baku from January 28 to February 4 for a fact-finding visit at the request of Azerbaijani authorities, according to an IMF spokesman.

The Financial Times reported on January 27 that IMF and World Bank officials were discussing a possible $4 billion emergency loan package to Azerbaijan.

But IMF and World Bank spokesmen have declined to confirm the amount.

Azerbaijan has witnessed widespread protests sparked by a deep drop in the value of the national currency.

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Nils Muižnieks Intervenes on the Case of Imprisoned Azeri Journalist Khadija Ismayilova

STRASBOURG. January 22, 2016 (Coe.int): Today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, published his written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights on a case concerning journalist and human rights defender Khadija Ismayilova. The Commissioner’s observations underscore the structural deficiencies in the area of freedom of expression in Azerbaijan, including judicial harassment of those expressing critical opinions and a pattern of retaliatory measures against those who co-operate with international organisations to expose human rights violations in the country.

“The case of Khadija Ismayilova, whom I met several times in Strasbourg and Baku, is emblematic of the reprisals that journalists, bloggers and human rights defenders face in Azerbaijan because of their work.  They are often selectively targeted with criminal prosecutions on charges that defy credibility, a problem which both affects the human rights of the persons concerned  and obstructs the functioning of international human rights mechanisms.”Third party interventions represent an additional tool at the Commissioner’s disposal to help promote and protect human rights.

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Clooney To Represent Jailed Azerbaijani Journalist At European Court

BAKU. January 22, 2016 (RFE/RL): Imprisoned Azerbaijani journalist and RFE/RL contributor Khadija Ismayilova has confirmed that prominent human rights lawyer Amal Clooney will represent her at the European Court of Human Rights.

Ismayilova lawyer Fariz Namazli said in an exclusive statement on January 21 that the reporter, who was sentenced to more than seven years in prison last year on dubious economic-crimes charges, had agreed to Clooney's offer because of the "courage" she had demonstrated while defending Al-Jazeera journalistMohamed Fahmy in 2014 when he was imprisoned in Egypt.

Clooney, who has represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in recent years, will serve as co-counsel for Ismayilova. 

The case seeks to challenge Azerbaijan's detention of Ismayilova -- who was in pretrial detention for nine months after her arrest in December 2014 -- as a violation of the European convention.

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Azerbaijan's Parliament Passes Measures To Support Troubled Currency

BAKU. January 19, 2016 (RFE/RL): Azerbaijan's parliament on January 19 approved a package of measures aimed at supporting the country's ailing manat currency, which has lost one-third of its value against the U.S. dollar during the past month.

The measures include limits on foreign currency leaving the country.

Baku also is introducing a 20 percent tax on currency exports related to direct investment, the purchase of real estate, or securities abroad.

Azerbaijan recently has burned through more than half its foreign currency reserves trying to defend the manat against the effect of falling oil prices.

Oil and gas account for 75 percent of Azerbaijan's state revenues.

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'People Are Asking For Jobs And Bread:' Azeris React To Protests Following Currency Collapse

BAKU. January 15, 2016 (RFE/RL): People on the streets of Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, have reacted to nationwide protests which erupted following the collapse of the country's currency, the manat. It has lost 40 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar in recent days. Several protesters were arrested in the district of Siyazan when security forces moved in. -0-

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Scores Detained In Azerbaijan Amid Countrywide Protests

BAKU. January 15, 2016 (RFE/RL): Scores of people, including opposition activists, were detained in Azerbaijan on January 13 amid countrywide protests over worsening economic conditions in the oil-rich Caucasus state.

Protesters rallied in the districts of Fizuli, Aqsu, Aqcabardi, Siyazan, and Lankaran to voice their anger over price hikes on staples such as flour and bread.

Most of the arrests were made in the district of Siyazan, where troops were sent in. Overall, 55 people were detained there "to protect citizens' constitutional rights and ensure public safety," the Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor-General's Office said in a joint statement.

The statement added that those detained held "illegal marches" in the city of Siyazan on both January 12 and 13.

"Unlawful actions inflicted various physical injuries on police officers and damaged two of the police vehicles," the statement said.

Security forces used tear gas against stone-throwing protesters in Siyazan and several other towns, where an undisclosed number of detentions were reported.

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Azerbaijan Suffers From Currency Crash, Low Oil Prices

By Arzu Geybullayeva and Tony Wesolowski, RFE/RL

BAKU. January 11, 2016: Deeply in debt, a man in Azerbaijan sets himself alight -- highlighting the human cost of the collapse of the country's currency.

Alik Navruzov's self-immolation in front of his workplace on January 7 was said to be his response to the sudden crash of the manat, which has lost about a third of its value since Azerbaijan's Central Bank announced in December that it would no longer prop up the currency.

According to colleagues at the school in Neftchala where he worked as a maintenance man, Navruzov complained of having bank loans he could no longer make payments on.

The 63-year-old survived, and is now reportedly in stable condition at a hospital in the city, located in the eponymous oil-producing region some 130 kilometers south of the capital. But there appears to be no signs of relief for Navruzov's dire financial straits -- a situation that is all too familiar to a growing number of people in Azerbaijan.

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David Kramer: Positive Feelings Towards Azerbaijani Leadership Largely Dissolved

WASHINGTON. January 7, 2016: Amid its ongoing brutal crackdown against independent voices and western institutions the Azerbaijani government has long been urged to improve the country's human rights record to avoid an international pariah status. In a surprise move, president Ilham Aliyev's office announced on Wednesday that it had received an invitation letter from the White House to the Nuclear Security Summit, which will take place in Washington, D.C. later in March. The invite, according to the Azeri sources, was issued on December 3rd, just days before President Aliyev signed a pardon decree granting amnesty to more than 200 people, in which he refused to include a single political prisoner's name.

Officials in Washington didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter. While it remains unclear whether president Aliyev is still welcomed in the U.S. capital, analysts like David Kramer, former president of Freedom House, believe that a good will and positive feelings toward Azerbaijani leadership 'have largely dissolved' among Washington politicians, amid Aliyev's refusal to release political prisoners last month.

'Presidents Obama and Aliyev had a short meeting in Turkey in November, and Aliyev, from what I can see, has not responded in a positive way on any democracy/human rights issues after that meeting,' he said.

In an interview with TURAN's Washington correspondent Alakbar Raufoglu, David Kramer, senior director for human rights and democracy at the McCain Institute for International Leadership, spoke about current human rights challenges and government-backed anti-West campaign in Azerbaijan, as well as its impacts on the country’s relations with the West.

Q. President Aliyev took to Twitter on Tuesday (Jan 5) and posted that Azerbaijan 'moves along the path of democracy and development...'  In what direction is Azerbaijan really moving with its current human rights record?

A. It's hard to see that there is a forward progress in Azerbaijan on democracy and human rights. The political prisoners are the main focus of those who're very critical of the situation in Azerbaijan, but there are other issues as well, such as elections -- both last year's for parliament election, and 2013's for president -- have also been criticized by the OSCE and ODIHR.

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Trial Opens In Azerbaijani Journalist's Killing

BAKU. January 5, 2016 (RFE/RL): The trial of five men accused of involvement in the killing of Azerbaijani journalist Rasim Aliyev is beginning in a Baku court.

Aliyev, 30, died in a Baku hospital on August 9, 2015, after being beaten the previous day.

The journalist said while in hospital that he was attacked by supporters of well-known soccer player Cavid Huseynov in retaliation for criticism of Huseynov that Aliyev posted on his Facebook page.

Huseynov, a member of Azerbaijan's Qabala FK soccer club, is not among the suspects.

Huseynov has been charged with not reporting a crime and faces a separate trial.

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Richard Kauzlarich: Quiet Diplomacy with Azerbaijan Has Not Worked

WASHINGTON. December 29, 2015: Despite all the expectations both at home and abroad the Azerbaijani government on Monday refused to release a single political prisoner from jail in a pardon decree, while granting amnesty to more than 200 others. The government rather decided to jail another prominent journalist, Rauf Mirgadirov, on espionage charges that his lawyers and supporters call bogus.

The move comes just days after a landmark bill seeking sanctions on Azerbaijan was submitted to the U.S. Congress in response to the Western criticisms’ falling on deaf ears in Baku.

With so many independent voices behind bars and its deepening confrontation with the West, where is Azerbaijan heading to, under current political leadership?

TURAN’s Washington’s correspondent Alakbar Raufoglu  interviewed Richard Kauzlarich, a veteran American diplomat (ret) and analyst, former US Ambassador to Baku and deputy assistant secretary of State, on latest human rights situation in Azerbaijan and the country’s relations with the West.

Q. Many analysts high light the failure of private/quiet diplomacy in present situation, while the government propaganda in Baku keeps pointing on western criticism, and hinting on their pushback against the latest calls for sanctions in Washington… What is the best language to use with the Azeri government at this point?

A. I practiced both quiet and unquiet diplomacy when I was in the Department of State as Ambassador to Azerbaijan and then, Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina. There were times and places for a quiet diplomacy and time and place for other forms of diplomacy.

In this case, as we witnessed certainly over the past year that the United States has been extraordinarily willing to engage with the government of Azerbaijan – in a positive way, and in a quiet way – but that hasn’t worked. There were some high level trips to Baku, such as visit of Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Defense and State, both have been out there in the last few months, and conveyed very positive messages. That has not worked either.

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No Political Prisoners Pardoned, Another Journalist Sentenced to 6 Years

BAKU. December 28, 2015: Today, Azerbaijani president signed a decree pardoning 210 persons with not a single political prisoner among those who were pardoned. There are over 100 political prisoners in Azerbaijan, including prominent journalists, lawyers, human rights activists, civil society representatives and opposition party leaders arrested and convicted on fabricated criminal charges.

In addition to that, today, the Azerbaijani court announced its verdict on the case of yet another political prisoner - journalist Rauf Mirkadirov, a case against whom is built on fabricated espionage charges - sentencing him to six years in prison.

Earlier, immediately after the announcement of the bill proposal by the US congressman Chris Smith to impose sanctions on the Azerbaijani government officials, Ogtay Asadov, speaker of the Azerbaijani parlaiment, and Ali Hasanov, chief of the public-political department of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan, had made statements indicating that the Azerbaijani president was preparing to pardon a large number of people, signaling that the list would include political prisoners as well. Apparently, the Aliyev regime had a change of heart and decided to double down by keeping all the political prisoners in jail.

Ironically, this decision of the Aliyev regime followed the interview by the US Ambassador Robert Cekuta to the pro-government Trend News Agency just two days ago. As usual, the US Ambassador spoke nothing about the political prisoners and political persecutions in Azerbaijan, instead he emphasized that the United States continued to place a high value on its relations with Azerbaijan and that the US congressman's "Azerbaijan Democracy Act" initiative was just one of over 7,000 bills which have been introduced by members of the two houses of the US Congress, among which just over 100 were approved by both houses, signed by the President, and enacted into law.

It is not clear whether the peculiar position taken by Ambassador Cekuta contributed in any way to the exclusion of political prisoners from Ilham Ailyev's pardon list. It surely did nothing to win their freedom.

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Robert Cekuta: U.S. continues to place a high value on Our Relations with Azerbaijan

BAKU. December 28, 2015: Two days ago, on December 26, Robert Cekuta, the United States Ambassador to Azerbaijan, gave an interview to the Trend News Agency, a progovernment media outlet of Azerbaijan.  Azeri Report reposts that interview below: 

Trend interviews US ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta

Q: "Azerbaijan Democracy Act” caused for deep concern in Azerbaijan. Individual initiative of US Congressmen, of course, does in no way reflect the position of US Administration. But we have not seen the official reaction of United States Administration and respectively, US Embassy on that account. How you would explain this silence?

A: As the Embassy has said publicly, we do not comment on draft legislation. This is the usual practice for us because of the separation of powers within the United States system. The legislature – or Congress – is separate from the Executive Branch, which includes the President, the State Department and other departments (what would be ministries here in Azerbaijan), and the judiciary are all separate from each other, something that was set out in our Constitution. That said, I have seen a lot of speculation in local media that reflects a misunderstanding of our legislative process. Our embassy has provided an overview of how draft bills get introduced by a member of Congress, get reviewed, and considered by members of the different legislative bodies and so forth to our social media accounts, and I encourage anyone interested in understanding the facts to review that information.

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Pressure on Aliyev Works

WASHINGTON. December 21, 2015: As President Ilham Aliyev decimated the Western-funded civil society in Azerbaijan over the last three years, Washington issued a statement after statement expressing mere concern at the sentencing of dozens of journalists and activists to lengthy prison terms. Every time the Azeri dissidents complained about the inadequacy of Western actions, the “concerned” segment of Washington replied saying that the West had no significant leverage over Baku and virtually nothing could be done to get the political prisoners released. In that sense, last week’s developments can be viewed as a small victory for the proponents of a practical approach to dealing with tyrants like Ilham Aliyev. The introduction of “Azerbaijan Democracy Act” by Representative Christopher Smith which envisages financial/visa sanctions against Azeri officials and the ensuing docile reaction from Baku shows that pressure works and it works well.

Ogtay Asadov, speaker of the Azerbaijani parliament, announced that the Azerbaijani government was already preparing to amnesty a number of prisoners. This statement came directly after the announcement of the bill proposal by Christopher Smith. It is widely expected that in the coming weeks numerous civil society activists will be released in reaction to the tough talk from Washington. Azeri Report further maintains that such form of discourse would have been productive from the very beginning when Ilham Aliyev first launched his campaign against what he termed as the “fifth column”. Had Washington sternly conveyed to Ilham Aliyev that his friendship with the West was contingent on his treatment of the civil society, lives could have been saved, individuals such as Khadija Ismayilova would not have to spend a day in prison, and RFE/RL would likely have a burgeoning operation in Baku. Instead, Washington’s continuous placation and incomprehensible refusal to deal with Aliyev in a more effective language, led to an entirely avoidable tragedy that has now unfolded before our eyes in Azerbaijan.

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Azerbaijani Currency Plummets After Float

BAKU. December 21, 2015 (RFE/RL): The central bank in Azerbaijan has abandoned its currency peg and floated the manat, following a similar move by Kazakhstan earlier this year.

The manat fell by nearly 48 percent against the U.S. dollar (from 1.04 to 1.55 manat to the dollar) following the announcement by the central bank on December 21.

Azerbaijan's central bank said the move was made to "preserve hard currency reserves...and ensure the national economy's competitiveness on the international arena."

In February, Azerbaijan's central bank changed the way it values the manat, moving away from the dollar and instead to a dollar-euro basket.

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Rep. Chris Smith Introduces Azerbaijan Democracy Act to Sanction the Aliyev Regime Officials

WASHINGTON. December 16, 2015 (CSCE.gov): Following years of systematic efforts by the Government of Azerbaijan to eliminate the voices of independent journalists, opposition politicians, and civil society groups, Helsinki Commission Chair Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) today introduced H.R. 4264, the Azerbaijan Democracy Act of 2015, a landmark bill that will deny U.S. visas to senior members of the Azerbaijani government.

“We recognize that there are important national security and economic ties that exist between our two countries, but the United States can no longer remain blind to the appalling human rights violations that are taking place in Azerbaijan,” said Rep. Smith. “Journalists and activists are routinely arrested and imprisoned; opposition politicians are in jail and elections are not free and fair; human rights lawyers have been harassed and disbarred; and religious freedom is under attack. The Azerbaijan Democracy Act demonstrates that the United States takes human rights and fundamental freedoms seriously, and that we will not compromise when faced by a government that represses the political opposition, the media, and religious minorities.”

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CE Secretary General Launches Inquiry into Respect for Human Rights in Azerbaijan

STRASBOURG. December 16, 2015 (Council of Europe Website): The Secretary General of the 47-nation Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, has launched an official inquiry into Azerbaijan's implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

"Judgments from the European Court of Human Rights have highlighted an arbitrary application of the law in Azerbaijan, notably in order to silence critical voices and limit freedom of speech," said the Secretary General.

"In these worrying circumstances, and given the lack of positive steps to address the situation, I will send representatives to Azerbaijan to seek explanations from the authorities concerning the country's implementation of the Human Rights Convention. I am particularly alarmed when individuals are deprived of their liberty due to an abuse of power by a country’s legal authorities, as the European Court of Human Rights found in the case of Ilgar Mammadov. This is a very serious violation of the Convention".

Under Article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Secretary General can launch an inquiry to find out how the domestic law in any member state makes sure that the convention is properly implemented.

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Jamil Hasanli: US is not Upholding Its Own Values in Azerbaijan

BAKU. December 15, 2015: Jamil Hasanli, leader of the National Council of Democratic Forces recently awarded the International Democracy Prize named after Ion Ratiu, spoke to Alakbar Raufoglu, Washington correspondent of the Turan News Agency. Jamil Hasanli spoke on the situation with the growing number of political prisoners in Azerbaijan and criticized the ambivalent approach of the US government on that issue.

Hasanli says one of the main problems of Azerbaijan is the prosecution of citizens for political reasons. There are over 100 political prisoners in the country and one can be certain that all charges against those persons have been fabricated since Hasanli says he attended almost all of those trials over the political prisoners and saw how the courts sentenced those political prisoners. While thanking the international human rights organizations for voicing concerns over the situation with political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Jamil Hasanli complained about the policies of the Western governments, specifically the approach of the US government which chose to collaborate with the Aliyev regime and “discuss” the human rights issue with the Aliyev regime behind the closed doors. "Just imagine, Yunus couple was arrested without any legal grounds based on fabricated charges; 60-year-old Leyla suffers tragedies in Kurdakhani [prison], and, as a result of torture, this courageous lady gets irreparable damage to her health; Arif Yunus faces death and their sentence is changed to parole to prevent them from dying in jail; And they are released to their home which has also been confiscated; and Mr. Kerry thanks Ilham Aliyev for all that, and the State Department thanks the Azerbaijani government. If these are the actions deserving thanks, and if the country acting as a guarantor of democracy and human rights in the world announces its gratitude for that, it is only natural to see massive political persecutions in Baku, the constant widening of the circle of political prisoners, suppression of democracy and destruction of civil society in the country."

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Azerbaijani President Abolishes the Ministry of National Security

BAKU. December 14, 2015: Today, the Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev signed a decree abolishing the Ministry of National Natioanl Security (MNS) and creating two new security institutions in its replacement. The newly created spy agencies are the State Security Service to be headed by General Madat Guliyev and the Foreign Intelligence Service to be headed by Orkhan Sultanov. The decree underlnes that the decision to be ablish the MNS was aimed at “improving the efficiency” of the special services.

MNS was a powerful security institution in Azerbaijan establiished on the basis of the Azerbaijani branch of the Soviet KGB. This powerful institution wielded the powers equivalent to the combined authorities of the FBI, CIA and NSA in the US. MNS came under the close scrutiny of the Azerbaijani president earlier this year when it appeared that it was involved in many crimes and corruption schemes in the country, including illegal cooperation and information exchange with the Israeli secrete services according to the progovernment news website haqqin.az.

The abnolshment of the MNS comes after the arrest of 19 former ministry officials, including several generals, in the past two months for alleged extortion and abuse of office, according to the Azeri Prosecutor General’s Office (Azeri Report).

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U.N. Criticizes Azerbaijan's Torture Record

GENEVA. December 11, 2015 (HRW.org): A new United Nations report says that the government of Azerbaijan has failed to prosecute a single torture case despite hundreds of allegations of torture in its detention facilities in the past few years, Human Rights Watch said today. The report of Azerbaijan’s fourth review under the Convention against Torture highlights the government’s denial of credible and consistent torture allegations and calls on the government to free unjustly imprisoned human rights defenders.

The United Nations Committee Against Torture examined Azerbaijan’s record on torture and ill-treatment on November 11 and 12, 2015, and published its conclusions on December 9, the same day the government freed an ailing prominent human rights defender,
Leyla Yunus, who had been held for more than 16 months.

“The government has been locking up human rights defenders one after the other and then denying their
reports of ill-treatment,” said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The UN Committee Against Torture made clear that the government needs to free the human rights defenders and stop turning a blind eye to their ill-treatment in prison.”

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National Council Issued Statement on the Arrest of the PFPA Deputy Chairman Fuad Gahramanli

BAKU. December 11, 2015: On December 8, Fuad Gahramanli, deputy chairman of the opposition Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) was arrested on trumped up charges. The local court quickly sentenced the opposition party’s deputy chairman to three-month pretrial detention based on the charges of public incitement to overthrow the government and incitement of national, racial, social or religious hatred (Articles 281.1 and 283.2.1 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan). In essence, the opposition party’s deputy chairman is charged with writing Facebook postings criticizing the Azerbaijani government. Mr. Gahramanli’s Facebook postings are the only evidence used by the Azerbaijani law enforcement in his prosecution.

The National Council of the Democratic Forces of Azerbaijan issued a statement calling the charges against Fuad Gahramanli groundless and politically motivated. The National Council of the Democratic Forces of Azerbaijan stated that the government was using the trumped up charges “to create a false impression that aforementioned person and organizations are condoning criminal activities in Nardaran”. On November 26, the Azerbaijani law enforcement started a large operation in Nardaran, suburban village of Baku, attacking the peaceful residents of the village with the following government media propaganda portraying the entire event as the Azerbaijani government’s fight against the Islamic terrorism. Fuad Gahramanli, along with many opposition figures of Azerbaijan, posted  Facebook statuses criticizing the Azerbaijani government’s false efforts of “fighting terrorism” in Nardaran. The National Council statement after Mr. Gahramanli’s arrest points out that the Azerbaijani government now seems intent to use those Facebook postings of the opposition politician to somehow tie the alleged Islamic radicals in Nardaran with the PFPA, a secular opposition party and/or the National Council of the Democratic Forces, also an alliance of secular democratic opposition forces of Azerbaijan.

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Azerbaijani Rights Activist Leyla Yunus Released From Prison

BAKU. December 9, 2015 (RFE/RL): Azerbaijan's jailed human rights activist Leyla Yunus has been released from custody following a request by her lawyers for her to be freed due to her deteriorating health condition.

She had been sentenced to 8 1/2 years in jail after being convicted by a court in Baku on charges of fraud and tax evasion.

Yunus had worked for the unregistered Peace and Democracy Institute in Baku with her husband, Arif Yunus, who was arrested on the same charges.

Arif Yunus, who was sentenced to seven years in prison, was released from custody on health grounds in November.

The couple both still face charges of treason and their legal situation remains unchanged, despite being released.

The charges against the couple have been denounced as a travesty of justice by international human rights groups.

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Hopes Fade For Workers Missing At Sea After Azerbaijan Oil-Rig Fire

BAKU. December 8, 2015 (RFE/RL): Hopes faded for more than 20 oil workers still missing as rescue workers pulled bodies from the Caspian Sea, three days after a fire swept through a drilling rig off Azerbaijan's coast.
 
Six bodies were recovered on December 7, bringing the death toll to eight in what a senior official of state oil company SOCAR called "the biggest tragedy" in its history.
 
With 23 workers missing, President Ilham Aliyev's government struggled to soothe distraught relatives and head off questions about its handling of the disaster.
 
Azerbaijani authorities say a storm caused the fire to erupt on the oil platform in the Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli field, about 120 kilometers offshore, on December 4.

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Building on a Shaky Foundation

By R. Jipa, V. Ilie, and D. Bojin, OCCRP

BUCHAREST. December 5, 2015: It’s no secret that the family of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev likes to buy expensive buildings around the world, although it’s rarely clear where the money comes from.

But the history of the US$ 7.3 million house at 39 Popa Soare Street in Bucharest’s old city is even murkier than usual, involving offshore transactions, links to corrupt officials and organized crime, insider deals and a peculiar cult of personality for a dead leader.

The house today is the headquarters of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, a non-governmental organization set up and run by the family of the current Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the late Heydar Aliyev’s son.

Heydar Aliyev, who died in 2003 at the age of 80, was a former KGB general and first secretary of the Communist Party’s Central Committee in Azerbaijan “who for 30 years ruled his native Azerbaijan with an iron fist,” according to his obituary in the New York Times.

The elder Aliyev also developed a cult of personality around himself, which, thanks in part to the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, persists more than a decade after his death with thousands of portraits of the dead leader on billboards and official structures across Azerbaijan, often shown with his son. Scores of streets, buildings and parks bear his name, statue or image, including as many as a dozen in foreign countries.

But what, exactly, is the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, and what does it do?

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'Mom, Be Strong, They Won't Let Me Go'

BAKU. December 4, 2015 (RFE/RL): Investigative journalist and RFE/RL contributor Khadija Ismayilova was arrested in Azerbaijan one year ago. She was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison on charges that rights groups say are retribution for her reporting on corruption. RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service spoke to Khadija's mother, Elmira Ismayilova, on December 3.-0-

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The Bad Blood Between Russia and Turkey Is Spreading to Armenia and Azerbaijan

By John Dyer, Vice News

 

WASHINGTON. December 3, 2015: Escalating tensions between Russia and Turkey have spread to the Caucasus, a volatile region where both powers have long contested each other's influence.

After Turkish jets shot down a Russian warplane that allegedly flew into Turkish airspace last week, a Cold War-style war of words erupted between Ankara and Moscow. Turkey has refused to apologize for the incident, while Russia has blocked sales of tourism packages to Turkey, imposed sanctions on Turkish fruits and vegetables, and accused Turkey of buying oil from the Islamic State.

Now the two sides are squaring off over the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, two tiny former Soviet republics that have been at loggerheads since a six-year war over an ethnic Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan called Nagorno-Karabakh ended in 1994.

"This is largely talk right now, but the problem is neither Turkey nor Russia really need war in the Caucasus," said Paul Stronski, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "The situation between Armenia and Azerbaijan has been pretty dangerous already. It's clear that things can easily get out of hand."

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Turkey-Russia Conflict Divides South Caucasus

By Giorgi Lomsadze, Eurasianet.org

BAKU. December 2, 2015: Sandwiched between Turkey and Russia, and for centuries a battleground for the erstwhile empires, the South Caucasus is bracing for fallout from the geopolitical furor sparked by the Turkish downing of a Russian fighter jet. 
 
Memories of multiple Ottoman-Tsarist wars that ravaged the South Caucasus from the 17th to the 20th centuries still exert influence over public opinion in the region. But modern-day issues wield the most influence in shaping loyalties, splitting the region into pro-Turkey and pro-Russia camps. The three states in the region – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia – are coming under growing pressure to choose sides following Turkey’s November 24 shoot-down of the Su-24 fighter.
 
Armenia, Russia’s main, if only, committed ally in the South Caucasus, has been quick in unequivocally backing the Kremlin. With no diplomatic ties with Turkey to worry about, Yerevan essentially has echoed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s
“stab-in-the-back” line about Turkey’s conduct.

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Elders of Nardaran Village Demand Probe Into Deadly Violence During Azerbaijani Police Raid

BAKU. November 30, 2015 (RFE/RL): Village elders from a settlement on the outskirts of Baku have called for talks with the authorities a day after a police raid in their community turned violent.

The elders are calling for an investigation into the events of November 26 in the Nardaran settlement.

They also are demanding the return of the bodies of four residents who were killed

Meanwhile, young men in Nardaran on November 27 were poised at stone barricades built overnight by residents at the entrances of the settlement.

Azerbaijan's Interior Ministry says two police officers and four suspected militants were killed during a raid on a "criminal gang" that was planning terrorist attacks in the country.

At least 14 people, including group leader Taleh Bagirzade, were detained in the November 26 raid.

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US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Bridget Brink Visited Azerbaijan Meeting with Ilham Aliyev

BAKU. November 23, 2015: Today, Bridget Brink, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, visited Baku meeting with the Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev. Bridget Brink is on a regional tour visiting Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. During the meeting with Brink, Aliyev talked about his recent conversation with the US President at the G20 summit in Antalya, the successful bilateral cooperation between the US and Azerbaijan for many years. Azerbaijan has over 100 political prisoners, including Khadija Ismayilova, award-winning journalist of the US-funded Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe (Azeri Report).

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U.S. Seeking Business Opportunities in Azerbaijan

BAKU. November 19, 2015 (Turan): The US Trade Mission with the participation of officials of the Department of Commerce and representatives of 14 American companies on November 18-20 are on a visit to Azerbaijan to discuss the possibility of the development of relations in the field of commerce and business representatives of government agencies and local entrepreneurship.

The US delegation includes representatives of the companies Baxter, Bloomberg LP, Capstone Turbine, Dow, Honeywell, Globalise, Langan, Miyamoto International, Osisoft, P & G, Thomson Reuters, Turner International, Wayback's Burgers, WSP / Parsons Brinkherhoff.

The mission is headed by Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Commerce, Michael Lally.

On November 18, US Ambassador Robert Cekuta hosted a reception in honor of the mission.

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Persian Racism and "Aryan Supremacy" Irritate the Largest Ethnic Minority in Iran

By Umud Duzgun

WASHINGTON. November 16, 2015: Once again, the Iranian State TV aired a racist show insulting Iran’s largest ethnic population – the Azerbaijani people. An Iranian State TV aired a “comedy show” where an Azerbaijani was portrayed as someone who mistakenly uses a toilet brush instead of a toothbrush because according to the comedy show an Azerbaijani wouldn’t know the difference between a toilet brush and a toothbrush. For decades, racism, discrimination and harsh treatment of non-Persian ethnic minorities in Iran became the Persian-dominated regime's official state policy. Every now and then, the media outlets controlled by the regime openly deliver a racist message in the form of TV shows, movies or kid's educational programs on state media sparking angry protests by an offended non-Persian minority.

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Azerbaijani Human Rights Activist Arif Yunus Released from Jail Because of His Failing Health

BAKU. November 12, 2015 (RFE/RL): Human rights defender Arif Yunus, whose case attracted worldwide attention when he and his wife were arrested in Azerbaijan in 2014 on suspicion of spying for Armenia, has been released from jail due to his deteriorating health.

RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports that the Baku Court of Appeals on November 12 granted Yunus's release at the request of his lawyers.

In August, Yunus was sentenced by a Baku court to seven years in prison after being convicted of fraud and tax evasion. His wife, Leyla Yunus, was sentenced to 8 1/2 years' imprisonment on the same charges. Neither has begun serving their sentences, although they remained jailed, and their cases relating to charges of treason are still pending.

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Azeri Protests in Iran Hailed by the National Council of Resistance of Iran

PARIS. November 11, 2015: Maryam Rajavi, leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, hailed the protests of the Azeri people in Iran, who started protests in a number of big cities in Iran, following an insult to the Azeri people in a comedy show broadcasted on the Iraninan TV.  In that TV show, there was an episode when an Azeri arived in a hotel in Iran and mistakenly used a toilette brush instead of a tooth brush.  Portrayal of the Azeri people as backward and uncivilized has been carried out by the Persian nationalist elite in Iran for decades.  As a result of such nationalist policies, Azeris, the largest national minority in Iran, does not have any Azeri language schools in the country. With the independence of Azerbaijan following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Azeri minority in Iran has become more assertive demanding more rights in Iran. 

On Monday, November 9, the cities of Tabriz, Urmia, Zanjan, Ardebil, Khoy, Maragheh, Marand, Naghadeh, Meshkinshahr, Ahar, Moghan and other cities in Eastern and Western Azerbaijan, Zanjan and Ardebil provinces were the scenes of large popular demonstrations in protest to the Iranian regime’s insult of Azeri compatriots in the state television that is under Khamenei’s control. Moreover, there were also gatherings and protests in the many cities, including Tehran and Shiraz. Demonstrations and clashes continued through part of the night in cities such as Tabriz.

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US does not support Azerbaijan. It supports Aliyevs.

And lobbying has a lot to do with it.

WASHINGTON. November 6, 2015. Lately, Azerbaijan's lobbying in the US came under public scrutiny. Located at the edge of Europe in volatile Caucasus region, Azerbaijan is ruled by President Ilham Aliyev - the man who was recognized as the planet's most corrupt person and who inherited the top post in fraudulent "elections" from his late father, a former KGB general and leading Soviet communist boss. The country has one of the world's worst records on democracy, human rights and corruption. However, the ruling Aliyev regime spends significant fortunes to prop up its image abroad and secure support for itself from the US and European governments. With top dollars spent on influential lobbyist firms, grandiose events, and expensive gifts to Western officials and "experts", Azerbaijan's charm blitzkrieg even earned a name for itself: "caviar diplomacy".

From the US House Speaker posing on photos and Donald Trump entering into a business venture with the playboy son of a corrupt Azerbaijani minister-oligarch, to members of Congress violating ethics rules (albeit "unknowingly") by taking trips to a lavish convention in Baku, to the US Ambassador in Azerbaijan getting a lucrative job with a company linked to Azerbaijan's State Oil Company shortly after leaving his diplomatic post, to US universities becoming pulpits for Aliyev's lobbyists and DC think-tanks taking positions favorable to the ruling regime after financial engagements with the Azerbaijani government, to FARA records showing Azerbaijan's Ambassador in DC going on a multi-million dollar lobbyist shopping spree - the outreach of these efforts raised eyebrows in the media and within the concerned circles, including public integrity watchdogs.

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Azerbaijan in International Media

"IMF and World Bank Move to Forestall Oil-Led Defaults," by J. Farchy and S. Donnan, Financial Times, Jan. 27, 2016

"Azerbaijan Leader Enters Uncharted Territory..." by Jack Farchy, Financial Times, Jan.25, 2016

It's Time to Hold the Azerbaijan Regime Accountable," by Gulnara Akhundova, Huffington Post, Jan. 8, 2016

"No, this is the truth about Azerbaijan's repression," The Washington Post, Sep. 25, 2015

"Dogged reporting in Azerbaijan landed a U.S.-trained journalist in prison," by D. Priest, A. Komuves, C. Mabeus, The Washington Post, Sep. 12, 2015

"Azerbaijani Reporter Sentenced to More than 7 Years after Farcical Trial," The Washington Post, Sep. 2, 2015

"Is America Forgetting American Values," by Jeffrey Gedmin and Gary Schmitt, CNN, Aug. 28, 2015

"Azerbaijan's Injustice," The Washington Post, August 16, 2015

"Azerbaijan's State-Owned Oil Company Signs DC Firms," by Megan R. Wilson, The Hill, Aug. 14, 2015

"Lady Gaga and Members of Congress Accept the Paychecks of a Tyrant," the Washington Post, Aug. 7, 2015

"Donald Trump is doing business with a controversial Azerbaijani oligarch," by Russ Choma, Mother Jones, July 29, 2015

"Foreign Lobbyist Gets Free Platform at Georgtown University, Atlantic Council," by Till Bruckner, Huffington Post, June 25, 2015

"Baku, Azerbaijan: 10 of the city's wierdest tourist atractions," The Telegraph, June 12, 2015

"Letter from Azerbaijan Jail: Khadija Ismayilova Speaks Out," The New York Times, June 11, 2015

"Baku 2015's Gleaming Stadiums a Facade Covering Corupt Azerbaijan Regime," by Idrak Abbasov, The Guardian, June 11, 2015

"Azerbaijan Bans Guardian From Reporting on Baku European Games," by Shaun Waker, The Guardian, June 11, 2015

"Intolerance and Oppression Overshadow Azerbajan's Glamorous European Games," by Adam LeBor, Newsweek, June 4, 2015

"Azerbaijan's Price for Hosting First European Games," by Rayhan Demytrie, BBC News, June 4, 2015

"To Baku and Back with Freebies," The New York Times, May 25, 2015

"Big Congressional Trip to Azerbaijan was Secretly Paid For By Azerbaijan," by Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate.com, May 13, 2015

"Report: U.S. Lawmakers Had Trip Funded by Azerbaijan," S. Higham, S. Rich, A. Crites and K. Park, The Washington Post, May 13, 2015

"Aliyev's Party," The Economist, May 2, 2015

"Jailed Azerbaijani Journalist, Khadija Ismayilova, to be Honored by PEN," by David M. Herszenhorn, The New York Times, April 15, 2015

"The Country That Diminishes the Olympic Flame," The Washington Post, April 15, 2015

"Azerbaijan Bars Entry to a Georgian Human Rights Worker," by David M. Hersenzorn, The New York Times, March 31, 2015

"Jailed Without Trial in Azerbaijan," The Washington Post, March 1, 2015

"BOA Admits Azerbaijan Pays for British Team to Compete in European Games," by Owen Gibson, The Guardian, February 25, 2015

"Trapped in Baku" by Michael Weiss, Foreign Policy, Feb. 11, 2015

"Washington Times hearts Azerbaijan" by Erik Wemple, Washington Post, Jan 29, 2015

"Azerbaijan: Land of Fire? It is for Some" by Naomi Westland, Huffington Post, Jan. 13, 2015

"Tony Blair Does PR for Repressive Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan Autocracies," by Casey Michel, New Republic, Jan. 7, 2015

"Ten Days in the Life of Ilham Aliyev, President of Absurdistan," by Till Bruckner, Huffington Post, Jan. 4, 2015

"A Thuggish Regime Challenges the US," by David J. Kramer, The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 4, 2015

"The 'Broken Window' Approach to International Relations," by Jeffrey Gedmin, The Washington Post, Dec. 31, 2014

"Who is Shushing State on Azerbaijan's Detention of Khadija Ismayilova," by Till Bruckner, Huffington Post, Dec. 30, 2014

"Azerbaijan Imprisons an Investigative Journalist," The Washington Post, Dec. 11, 2014

"Azerbaijan Jails Reporter Who Angered Top Officials," by D. Herszenhorn, The New York Times, Dec. 5, 2014

"Duke of York to Meet Azeri Despot Ilham Aliyev for 12th Time," by Jim Armitage, The Independent, Nov. 13, 2014

"Azerbaijan Risks New Armenia Conflict as Chopper Downed," by Z. Agayev and S. Khojoyan, Bloomberg News, Nov. 12, 2014

"Azerbaijan's Human Rights are On a Kinfe Edge," by Thorbjorn Jagland, The Guardian, Nov. 3, 2014

"No Country for Human Rights: Azerbaijan's Increasingly Intolerant Regime," by Gunay Ismayilova and Samir Kazimli, The New York Times, Oct. 22, 2014

"Time for Sanctions on Baku," by David J. Kramer and Richard Kauzlarich, The American Interest, Oct. 2, 2014

"Azerbaijan and Think Tanks," The New York Times, Sep. 6, 2014

"'The Hardest Part is I Can't See You' - Azeri Activist's Prison Letter to Jailed Husband," RFE/RL, Aug. 20, 2014

"Azerbaijan Prosecutes a Prominent Human Rights Defender on Absurd Charges," The Washington Post, Aug. 13, 2014

"Prominent Activist Charged With Treason in Azerbaijan," by Neil MacFarquhar, The New York Times, July 31, 2014

"Lawmakers' Trips to Baku Conference Raise Ethics Questions," by Will Tucker and Lise Olsen, Houston Chronicle, Jul. 26, 2014

"Azerbaijan Counts Human Cost of Architecture," by Shahin Abbasov, The Guardian, July 14, 2014

"British MPs Taken on 'Caviar Trail' By Lobbyists Close to Azerbaijan's Coprrupt Dictatorship," by Jon Stone, BuzFeed.com, June 20, 2014

"Azerbaijan and Council of Europe: Do As We Say, Not As We Do," by G.E., The Economist, May 13, 2014

"Azerbaijan's Sponsorship of Atletico Proves Spectacular Success," by Owen Gibson, The Guardian, May 1, 2014

"Vugar Gashimov, Grandmaster of Chess, Dies at 27," by D. L. McClain, The New York Times, Jan. 12, 2014

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Azerbaijan in International Reports

Sep. 9, 2015: European Parliament Resolution on Human Rights Situation in Azerbaijan

July 30, 2015: One Year of Unprecedented Repressions in Azerbaijan

June 24, 2015: PACE Resolution on the "Functioning of Democratic Institutions in Azerbaijan"

December 21, 2014: "Statement about Critically Deteriorating Conditions of Civil Society in Azerbaijan" - World Movement for Democracy

December 10, 2013: The Global Witness Report on Corruption in Azerbaijan's Oil Industry - "Azerbaijan Anonymous"

November 5, 2013 - European Stability Intiative Report on Azerbaijan's Presidential Elections - "Disgraced: Azerbaijan and the End of Election Monitoring as We Know It"

September 1, 2013 - HRW Report - "Tightening the Screws: "Azerbaijan's Crackdown on Civil Society and Dissent"

May 14, 2013 - Report of Civil Rights Defenders, Sweden based international human rights organization, on Human Rights Defenders in Azerbaijan

April 2013 - US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights in Azerbaijan

April 3, 2013 - ICIJ Report - Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze

January 2013 - Annual Report on Human Rights Watch - Chapter on Azerbaijan

December 2012 - Freedom House - Nations in Transit - Azerbaijan Country Report

October 29, 2012 - Amnesty International Report "Azerbaijan: Human Rights Abuses Placed Under the E-Spotlight"

October 25, 2012 - "The Struggle for Internet Freedom in Azerbaijan," by Vugar Gojayev

September 27, 2012 - Report on "Local and Regional Democracy in Azerbaijan," The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Council of Europe

May 24, 2012 - "Caviar Diplomacy: How Azerbaijan Silenced the Council of Europe. Part 1" - European Stability Initiative

May 9, 2012 - "Spotlight on Azerbaijan" - Foreign Policy Centre's Report on Human Rights Record of Azerbaijan

April 18, 2012 - EU Parliament's Resolution on EU-Azerbaijan Association Agreement

April 18, 2012 - EU Parliament's Resolution on EU-Armenia Association Agreement

April 2, 2012 - Sandie Shaw Calls on Azerbaijani Government to Stop Harassing Journalists - Amnesty International Report

February 29, 2012 - "They took everything from me" Human Rights Watch Report on Forcible Evictions In Azerbaijan

February 20, 2012 - The Amnesty International Briefing on Human Rights In Azerbaijan

October 4, 2011 - Norwegian Helsinki Committee's Report on Political Prisoners In Azerbaijan

September 23, 2011 - Human Rights Watch Letter to Azerbaijani Minister of Justice On Disbarred Lawyers

April 12, 2013 - IPGA Statement on Political 2012-2013 Political Persecutions in Azerbaijan

April 8, 2011 - US State Department's Human Rights Report on Azerbaijan for 2010

March 7, 2011 - Amensty International: Azerbaijan Must Halt Crackdown On Protest Organizers

February 15, 2011 - CPJ Report "Attacks on the Press 2010: Azerbaijan"

January 27, 2011 - ODIHR/OSCE Final Report on Azerbaijani Parliamentary Elections of Nov. 2010

November 8, 2010: ODIHR/OSCE Preliminary Statement on Azerbaijan's Parliamentary Elections

October 30, 2010: ODIHR/OSCE Second Interim Report on Azerbaijani Elections

October 26, 2010: HRW Report - Azerbaijan: Beaten, Blacklisted and Behind Bars

October 21, 2010: Azerbaijan: Free Expression Under Attack

September 2010 - Article 19 Report - Living As Dissidents: Freedom of Expression In Azerbaijan

September 3, 2010 - International Crisis Group Report: "Azerbaijan: Vulnerable Stability"

March 2010 - Resource Nationalism Trends In Azerbaijan - PETROSAM Program of Reasearch Council of Norway

March 11, 2010 - U.S. State Department's 2009 Report on Azerbaijan

February 24, 2010 - Global Integrity Report on Corruption in Azerbaijan

February 16, 2010 - NHC Report: "Nakhchivan: Azerbaijan's Dark Island"

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Linked Info

"The Heydar Ailyev Era Ends in Azerbaijan..." by Richard Kauzlarich, Brookings.edu

"Your Government May Be Corrupt, But Is It Azerbaijan-Corrupt?" - Buzzfeed.com. June 11, 2014

"Azerbaijan's photographers: Capturing the raw truth" by R. Jafarov and R. Vincent, Index on Censorship, October 11, 2013

Aliyev's Cultural Spending Spree - by Emma, Platformlondon.org - May 16, 2013

OCCRP Names Aliyev "Person of the Year" - Dec. 31, 2012

"Sudden, Violent Demonstration Erupts In Northern Azerbaijan," by Karl Rahder, FPB, March 2, 2012

"Azerbaijan: Early 20th Century Satirical Magazine Offers Edgy Exploration of Eurasia," Eurasianet.org, Nov. 24, 2011

US Amb. Ross Wilson's Speech at the Atlantic Council Conference On Europian Energy - June 1, 2011

"Azerbaijan: Prominent Lawyer Disbarred, Youth Activist Arrested," by Karl Rahder, FPB, Feb. 6, 2011

"Azerbaijan Backtracks in Ukranian Organ Transplant Investigation," Eurasianet.org, Dec. 3, 2010

"More Troubles In Baku, Local Press Reports On "Magic Tree"," by Karl Rahder, FPB, June 20, 2010

"Azerbaijan Grapples With New Media Freedom," by Karl Rahder, ISN, June 7, 2010

"A Journalism (r)evolution in Azerbaijan," by Mark Briggs, Lost Remote, May 24, 2010

"IMF: The Party Is Over For Azerbaijan," by Shahin Abbasov, Eurasianet. org, May 24, 2010

"Alienating Azerbaijan?" by Karl Rahder, International Relations and Security Network, Apr. 27, 2010

"Colors and Flowers... and Soviet Spoils," by Ben Tanosborn, April 27, 2010

"The U.S. and the Persecution of Azerbaijan's Bloggers," by Joshua Kucera, trueslant.comm Nov. 11, 2009

"Story of a Father and Son," Frontline Club, Sep 28, 2009

"Hooligans?," RSF about arrested youth activists in Azerbaijan, July 11, 2009

"I Rule Here and Blind Democrats in Europe," by Ilgar Mammadov, REAL, June 27, 2009

Azerbaijan Marks Anniversary Of Its First Republic - Frontline Club, May 29, 2009

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely - by Farid Guliyev, ResetDoc.org, April 16, 2009

So Much For Azerbaijani Democracy - by Michael J. Totten, Commentary Magazine, Oct. 21, 2008

Azerbaijan: Election Day Proves A Snooze - by Mina Muradova, Eurasia Insight, Oct. 15, 2008

Finding Elmar's Killers. Azerbaijan Special Report - by Nina Ognianova, CPJ, Sep. 16, 2008

Azerbaijani Opposition Mulls Presidential Election Boycott - by Liz Fuller

Naxcivan: More Tales From Azerbaijan's North Korea

It's National Press Day in Azerbaijan, But There's Little Cause For Celebration

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Videos

October 9, 2015: David Kramer Calls for Targeted Sanctions Against Azerbaijan Government Officials

June 30, 2015: Flacking for Despots: Inside Azerbaijan's Lobbying in U.S.

June 15, 2015: Baku European Games Discussed at Last Week Tonight John Oliver

June 15, 2015: "We will hold you responsible," Bono sends video message to Ilham Aliyev

June 10, 2015: RFE/RL Discussion: The Real Price of Azerbaijan's European Games

May 5, 2015: A Dissident's Life: Story of Ramis Yunus

April 22, 2015: "Azerbaijan Locks Up Critics Ahead of European Games" HRW video-report

December 12, 2014: AZAD Event "Time to Get Tough With Baku: Can US Sanctions Help Azerbaijani Dissidents?"

November 12, 2014: Gerald Knaus Presentation on Azerbaijani Government's Lobbying Efforts with Council of Europe

November 10, 2014: Civic Solidarity Platform: No More Business as Usual for Azerbaijan

May 16, 2014: Radio Azadliq Interview with U.S. Amb. to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar: "Who Will Stand up for Azerbaijan's Independence?"

November 22, 2013 - AZAD Event: "The Quest for Democracy in Azerbaijan: Conversation with Jamil Hasanli"

November 7, 2013 - AZAD Event: "The Perils of Content with Azerbaijan: Is Status-Quo Sustainable for the West's Favorite 'Gas Station'?"

October 27, 2013 - National Council's Protest Rally in Baku

October 16, 2013 - U.S. Investor Jailed After Whistleblowing on Corrupt Business Deals With Azerbaijan

September 30, 2013 - "Concernus Theatricus": Azeri Youth TV Pokes US Ambassador Morningstar

July 31, 2013 - House Demolition in Khutor, Baku

July 2, 2013 - President Ilham Aliyev's speech in front of the Azerbaijani Police Forces

June 13, 2013: Harlem Shake Protest in Front of Azerbaijani Embassy in London

March 29, 2013 - Battle to Save Homes from Demolition in Baku

January 24, 2013 - Ismayilli Protests Continue

January 23, 2013 - Popular Uprising in Ismayilli

January 23, 2013 - Amazing Azerbaijan! Short Film

January 12, 2013 - Baku Protests Against Soldier Jeyhun Gubadov's Death

December 20, 2012 - British MP Helen Goodman Attacks Human Rights Record of Azerbaijan

December 19, 2012 - AZAD Forum "Azerbaijan's Untapped Potential for the West: Engaging Azerbaijani Society as a US Ally"

December 10, 2012 - Azeri Police Arrests... Government Supporter at Opposition Rally

December 10, 2012 - Public Chamber's Protest Action in Downtown Baku

October 20, 2012 - Opposition Protesters Demand Dissolution of Azerbaijani Parliament

October 1, 2012 - Million Dollar Bribe for a Parliamentary Seat: Secret Cam Recording with English Subtitles

More Videos...

Photos

Photo Essay on Heydar Aliyev's Cult of Personality in Azerbaijan - February 19, 2013

Popular Uprising in Ismayilli - January 23, 2013

Public Chamber's Rally - April 22, 2012

Youth Protest Rally in Bayil - March 12, 2012

Anti-French Protests In Baku - January 25, 2012

Youth Protests in Downtown Baku - December 3, 2011

Rally of the Public Chamber of the Azeri Opposition - June 19, 2011

Azeri Diaspora Rallies For Demoracy In Stockholm, Sweden - June 18, 2011

Public Champer Marks the Republic Day - May 28, 2011

April 17 Rally of Azeri Opposition - April 17, 2011

Azeri Diaspora Rallies For Democracy in Den Haag - April 6, 2011

Azeri Diaspora Rallies For Democracy in Strasbourg - April 2, 2011

Rally of Azerbaijani Democratic Forces - April 2, 2011

Free Azerbaijan Rally of AZAD - March 19, 2011

Musavat Rally Against Aliyev Regime - March 12, 2011

Youth Protests Against Aliyev Regime - March 11, 2011

Democratic Forces of Azerbaijan Commemorated M.A. Rasulzade - January 31, 2011

Hijab Protest In Nardaran - December 18, 2010

Parliamentary Elections In Azerbaijan - November 7, 2010

Azeri Diaspora In Netherlands Protested Against Ilham Aliyev's Regime - November 5, 2010

PFPA and Musavat's Joint Rally In Baku - July 31, 2010

Azeri Opposition's Protest Action In Baku - July 3, 2010

Azadlig Bloc Held "Unauthorized" Rally In Baku - June 19, 2010

Musavat and Union for Democracy Held "Unauthorized" Rally In Baku - June 12, 2010

Azadlig Bloc's "Unauthorized" Rally In Baku - June 5, 2010

International Act of Protest for Eynulla Fatullayev In Front of Azeri Embassy - June 3, 2010

Azadlig Bloc's Rally In Novkhani - May 28, 2010

Protest of Azadlig Bloc in Baku - May 15, 2010

Protest of Azadlig bloc in Baku - April 26, 2010

Surprise Youth Protest Action in Baku - Nov. 22, 2009

U.S. Azeris Commemorate Oil Academy Shooting Victims - May 10, 2009

Student Protests In Baku - May 10, 2009

Mirza Sakit Released From Jail - April 9, 2009

Azeris Marked Khojali Massacre In Front of Armenian Embassy - February 25, 2009

AZAD Holds Protest Rally In New York Against Unlimited Presidency in Azebaijan - January 9, 2009

AZAD Holds Protest Rally in Washington DC Against Unlimited Presidency in Azerbaijan - Dec. 30, 2008

Protests Against Constitutional Changes in Azerbaijan - Dec. 24, 2008

Ganja Celebrates Ilham Aliyev's Birthday - Dec. 24, 2008

Jailed Azeri Journalists, Brothers Ganimat and Sakit Zahidov at Their Fathers Funeral

Sacrifice Holiday in Azerbaijan - December 8, 2008

Military Parade in Baku - June 26, 2008