Tag Archives: Baku

Baku clarifies position towards MEPs

Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement attributed to the spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva who commented on the information of the European Parliament declining to send an observer mission to Azerbaijan for the parliamentary elections, news Agency Trend reports.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also sent letters to the OSCE Bureau for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the OSCE, the CIS, GUAM, the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and other international and regional organizations,” Abdullayeva said.

The Azerbaijani side sent an appeal to observe the parliamentary elections mainly to those organizations of which it is a member and participant, the spokesperson continued.

“Specifically, with regard to the information provided by the European Parliament (EP), I would like to emphasize that it is absolutely incorrect to consider this information circulated by the European Parliament as refusal of this structure to observe the elections”, Abdullayeva said.

She explained that Azerbaijan does not have any obligations to the European Parliament.

Abdullayeva said the information was provided in accordance with the procedural rules of the European Parliament, that is, it means that members of the European Parliament can personally attend and observe the elections, where the EP will not participate as an observer.

“I would like to note that in order to ensure transparency on the eve of all elections, the Central Election Commission regularly provides information on the registration of observers”, Abdullayeva said.

In the context of the early parliamentary elections to be held in Azerbaijan on February 9, Azerbaijan’a parliament sent invitation letters to the parliamentary delegations and the Parliamentary Assemblies of which Azerbaijan is a member, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Leyla Abdullayeva told Trend.

Baku’ assaults regime critics

The courts of Azerbaijan condemned at least 25 journalists and political activists to long prison terms in politically motivated, unfair trials in 2017, Human Rights Watch concluded in its World Report 2018.
Azerbaijan laws and regulations for nongovernmental organizations created a frame, making impossible for independent groups to fund and carry out their work. Harassment, torture and ill-treatment in custody in total impunity is common, and legal changes reduced the number of lawyers accepting politically sensitive cases.
President Ilham Aliyev (pictured) clearly draws a red line for freedom of speech, and fundamental rights, sending a clear message that anyone who crosses it is charged as a criminal. The situation with fundamental rights in Azerbaijan has been in down spiral for years, while criticism of the regime and especially the Aliyevs family, is a taboo, blocking democratic developments in oil rich Caucasus country.
“Azerbaijan does have a de facto royal family. They pretend the Aliyevs are democratically elected” – writes the son of the assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Matthew.

EU urges Baku to respect freedom of speech

“The six-year sentence handed down to Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli in Azerbaijan by a court in Balakan on 12 January poses serious questions as regards the exercise of fundamental rights including the freedom of expression and media and due process of law in Azerbaijan, ” –  says the statement by the spokesperson of the European External Action Service (EEAS) on the sentencing of the journalist.

“The alleged abduction of Mr Mukhtarli in Georgia followed by his arrest and prosecution in Azerbaijan continues to demand thorough and transparent investigation.”

“All cases of incarceration related to the exercise of fundamental rights should be reviewed urgently by Azerbaijan, followed by the release all of those concerned, in line with Azerbaijan’s international commitments.”

The OSCE has condemned the jailing of Azerbaijan journalist, and expressed hope the verdict to be overturned on appeal.

The US State Department issued a statement, being “disturbed” by sentencing of journalist Afgan Mukhtarli,  and urged Azerbaijan to release him:

A day after the journalist went missing in сaptial city of neighbouring Georgia, Tbilisi, in May 2017, Azerbaijani authorities declared him in custody in Baku on suspicion of smuggling and crossing the border illegally.

Muxtarli’s lawyers, Elcin Sadiqov and Nemat Karimli, told the court that their client was “abducted” in Georgia and illegally brought into Azerbaijan.

Defending  Mr Mukhtarli  both  lawyers insist the case is politically motivated and requested to drop all charges.

EU on Azerbaijan’s abduction of a journalist

“The alleged abduction and illegal arbitrary detention of Azerbaijani nationals, including human rights defenders, residing in Georgia followed by their arrest and prosecution in Azerbaijan, demands swift, thorough and transparent investigation.” – says the statement of the European External Actions Service.

“We welcome the launch of such an investigation in Georgia as announced by its leadership.” – continues the statement.

“A review by Azerbaijan of any and all cases of incarceration related to the exercise of fundamental rights, including the freedom of expression, and immediate release all of those concerned is urgent, in line with Azerbaijan’s international commitments.”

“We expect that the due process of law is respected, as well as the civil and political rights of citizens and those residing legally in states other than their own.”

‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile”.

‘The European Union will continue to follow these cases closely.’

Afqan Muxtarli with his family fled to Georgia in 2015, fearing for their safety over his investigations into Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s  (pictured) alleged links to corruption.

Elcin Sadyqov, attorney of Muxtarli family,  claims his client was abducted in Tbilisi on May 29, tied up in a car, beaten by men in civilian clothing, and brought across the border into Azerbaijan.

Sadyqov said he saw bruises on Muxtarli’s face and forehead, his client complained of “severe pain” in the chest, suggesting that his ribs are broken.  Kidnapped journalist is sentenced to 3 months pre-trial detention in Azerbaijan.

Aliyeva from First Lady to First vice-president of Azerbaijan

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This week Azerbaijan’s president Ilham  Aliyev appointed his wife Mehriban as the first vice president of the country — the person next in line in the nation’s power hierarchy.

Ilham Aliyev, 55 named his wife Mehriban, 52, to the position created after a constitutional referendum in September. Mehriban, who married her husband when she was 19, graduated from a medical university. She has served previously as a lawmaker and headed a charity, the UNESCO goodwill ambassador.

The constitutional amendments approved at the referendum introduced the positions of two vice presidents, one of them the first vice president.

Explaining his decision the President said his wife is “a professional, experienced and principled person, and a humanist”.

Negotiations on the new agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan have been launched earlier this month,  following the visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Brussels on 6 February. The new agreement will follow the principles endorsed in the 2015 review of the European neighbourhood policy and offer a renewed basis for political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan. The EU is Azerbaijan’s main trading partner, accounting for around 42.4% of Azerbaijan’s total trade.  The EU imports from Azerbaijan chiefly consist of mineral fuels – oil and gas, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals and food and live animals.

 

 

US-Russia military chiefs to meet in Baku

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Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford and Chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov will hold a meeting on Thursday, 16 February 2017, in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, the Pentagon’s press office reported on Wednesday.

According to the press office, Gerasimov and Dunford “will discuss a variety of issues including the current state of U.S.-Russian military relations and the importance of consistent and clear military-to-military communication to prevent miscalculation and potential crises.”

No details of the agenda of the upcoming talks between the two military leaders were disclosed.

The meeting will be hold at eve of the Munich confrence of security, 17 February 2017.