Tag Archives: Ilham Aliyev

Bardot defends N.Karabakh animals

Brussels,1.12.2020 Legendary French animal welfare defendant Brigitte Bardot, President of the Foundation bearing her name, addressed an open letter to the attention of the Presidents of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, regarding the dramatic situation of the abandoned animals of Nagorno-Karabakh. The thousands of abandoned animals of Nagorno-Karabakh were left behind after the military operations in disputed territory led to the massive exodus of Armenians.
In her letter Mme Bardot has drawn the attention of Presidents to the situation in the region, where the animal welfare activists were eager to come to rescue thousands of animals, mainly dogs and cats, but they are kept away from dangerous areas by the military, who conduct necessary works to remove munition, and explosives. The abandoned cats, dogs, and other domestic animals who suffer without care, deprived of water and of food, doomed to die painful death.

The animal welfare activists report about tens of thousands of abandoned animals, dying in absence of food and water. There are mutes of dogs, who are looking for food in vain in deserted villages in the regions around Nagorno-Karabakh. The only solution for the problem, is the inclusion of care for the abandoned animals into humanitarian missions, conducted by the Russian peacekeepers, and Azerbaijan regular army.

“Open letter to the attention of the Presidents
of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev

Dear Presidents,

I appeal to you not to forget about the abandoned animals of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The activists are eager to rescue them, but they are being kept away from the dangerous areas where military experts are working, and where there are thousands of dogs, cats and other abandoned domestic animals who are suffering without care, deprived of water and food.

Confronted with such a situation which could go on for some time and leave no chance of survival for the animals, I call you to include the caretaking of the abandoned animals in the humanitarian missions.

This dramatic situation of suffering of animals abandoned by people, mainly dogs and cats who have been our most faithful companions since the dawn of time, is a matter of great concern but trust in your good will to provide an exceptional aid during this transitional period after the entry into force of the ceasefire agreement inspires the hope that I place in you.
Caring for animals suffering along with humans from the consequences of conflicts and wars can only help to heal recent and old traumas that haunt humanity and, in this particular situation, would contribute significantly to the appeasement of the Nagorno-Karabakh region by encouraging people to build a better future for all.

The humanitarian and charitable missions towards the animals of Nagorno-Karabakh carried out under your orders, dear Presidents, are among the keys to this much desired peaceful future, which animal welfare groups are ready to support.

I look forward to receiving your positive response to my urgent appeal.

Please accept, dear Presidents, the assurance of my highest consideration”.

EU calls Baku to release protestors

Dozens of people were detained on October 19 in Baku, Azerbaijan, following their attempt to rally peacefully.

Excessive and unprovoked force was reportedly used to disperse the crowds and arrest participants. Such incidents need to be investigated. We equally call on the authorities to release peaceful protesters remaining in detention”  says the Statement by the Spokesperson on the latest developments in Azerbaijan.

*Freedom of assembly is a fundamental human right and we expect Azerbaijan to ensure that it can be fully exercised, in line with the country’s international obligations.*

Police in Azerbaijan on Saturday detained scores of protesters, including the leader of the main opposition Popular Front, at the start of a planned rally against low salaries, corruption and a lack of democracy in the energy-rich ex-Soviet state. 

The protesters who attempted to rally in the streets of the capital had put forward demands of higher salaries for state employees and fair and independent elections. The human rights groups have been criticising Azerbaijan for a long time for a poor fundamental rights records. 

Popular Front leader Ali Kerimli said that some 50 people, mostly organizers of Saturday’s unauthorized rally, had already been detained earlier in the week, exact numbers of arrested are unknown.

Incumbent President Ilham Aliyev rules the country after death of his farther – the first President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev (1993-2003) who previously was the First secretary of the Communist party of Soviet Republic (1969-1982), and member of the Politburo of the USSR. The spouse of the President AlieyvMehriban – is his first Vice-President of Azerbajan. (Image above: President and First Vice-President of Azerbaijan).

MEPs demand Mehman Huseynov release

MEPs deplore the crackdown on dissent in Azerbaijan, raising the issue at January  European Parliament Plenary in Strasbourg, and adopting a resolution taking stock of the human rights situation in Azerbaijan.

MEPs call for the immediate and unconditional release of prominent Azerbaijani anti-corruption blogger Mehman Huseynov, who is serving a two-year prison sentence for speaking out about his experiences of being tortured by the police and criticising government officials by exposing their unexplained wealth.

They also demand an end to Azerbaijan’s harsh general crackdown on dissent and the immediate and unconditional release from jail of all political prisoners. MEPs remind Azerbaijan of its obligations stemming from the European Convention on Human Rights and call on the country’s authorities to fully respect and enforce the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights.

The resolution, adopted by 533 votes in favour, 28 against and 36 abstentions, further underlines the importance of the new agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and Azerbaijan, stressing that democratic reform, the rule of law and respect for human rights must be at its core.

MEPs emphasise that the European Parliament will closely monitor the human rights situation in the country throughout the negotiations prior to deciding whether or not to give its consent to the agreement.

Nagorno Karabakh signal for progress

Exchanges in recent months between the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, and the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, as well as meetings of the Foreign Ministers under the auspices of the Co-Chairs of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, most recently in Paris on 16 January 2019, send a positive signal for progress in the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict” said the statement by the European External Action (EEAS) service spokesperson on recent developments toward the peaceful settlement of the frozen conflict.

“The European Union is looking forward to the full implementation of their outcomes, including the recent Foreign Ministers’ agreement on the need to take concrete measures to prepare the populations for peace, as well as the consideration of steps aimed at reinvigorating the negotiations.

“The European Union continues to fully support the mediation efforts and proposals of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, including through the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, as well as through civil society confidence-building measures across the conflict divide. All would stand to benefit from lasting peace, which would help to enable the South Caucasus region to fulfill its potential.”

Political analyst Stepan Danielyan reminded before the meeting in Paris, that the election thesis of the incumbent Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on the issue of Nagorno Karabach was Yerevan refusal to conduct negotiations on behalf of Stepanakert. Many voters made their choice based on this thesis, Danielyan underlined.

Now the ministers of foreign affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan continue negotiations – they are discussing the Karabakh problem. What is discussed is not clear” the expert said. “In the past, Charles de Gaulle deceived the French, promising that France would not leave Algeria, before the elections, but after winning he did the opposite”, but Nagorno Karabakh is not Algeria, and Pashinyan is not de Gaulle, the expert warned.

According to the Armenian prosecutors the military casualties in Nagorno Karabakh in 2018 amounted to 38 servicemen, non-combat losses to 25 people.

Hajiyev:”My wife is targeted in revenge”

This week scandal around the fortune of  the UK resident Zamira Hajiyeva (55), who is wanted in Azerbaijan regarded as a beneficiary of her husband’s fraudulent banking operations, launches an anti-corruption campaign of the British government. While carrying out the first offensive on  “unexplained” wealth”  the UK specialized body the National Crime Agency led by Donald Toon  has prepared  eight other cases for descendants from Russia, ex-Soviet Union and Africa.

Unexplained Wealth Orders have “the potential to significantly reduce the appeal of the UK as a destination for illicit income,” Donald Toon, the director for economic crime at the National Crime Agency, (NCA)  said in a statement.

Zamira fled Azerbaijan but she was arrested ‘in absentia‘ on charges of ‘misappropriation of state funds‘ and remains on Azerbaijan’s ‘wanted-list‘. However in a very recent past she had every reason to be proud of he husband.

Heralded for his professional acumen, the owner of the immense fortune, shared with his spouse, Jahangir Hajiyev  was awarded the prestigious Queen Victoria Commemorative Medal and named Best Banker In A Crisis by Europe’s business leaders, for his role in leading Azerbaijan through the 2008 financial calamity.

Hajiyev‘s personal wealth was valued at £55 million in 2011, court documents have revealed. However the star of the banker faded when he was arrested and sentenced in a highly publicized  trial in his native Azerbaijan,  accused of massive fraud, and embezzlement. Oddly, the Azeri government did not not investigate potential criminal activity against the national bank Hajiyev charied, but only against the banker himself, and a small  group of his associates. The systemic violations of laws in Hajiyev trial left many questions unanswered.

Azerbaijan is notorious for its authoritarian rule, manifesting itself in powers concentrated in the hands of the First Family: President Ilham Aliyev who inheritied his position from his father, and his wife, the vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva.  

President Aliyev is using the power of the criminal justice system to undermine his potential challengers and “take the spotlight off of his own crimes’, wrote  Bay Nabiyevan Azeri  lawyer commenting on Hajiyev case in “Jahangir Hajiyev and the Political Dungeons of Azerbaijan” for Medium news.

Zamira Hajiyeva, the wife of a jailed banker from Azerbaijan, is being asked to clarify the sources of her fortune due to a new anti-corruption enforcement scheme designed to target organized crime figures.

Hajiyeva explained that her husband gave her a £1 million plus presents and she received a monthly allowance of £20,000 but she began selling off precious objects at Christie’s, after he was arrested in 2015, court papers have shown.

My husband was in 2009 a man of substantial means. He was very well off when we married in 1997 and has accumulated capital and wealth since the early 1990’s,”  Hajiyeva argued in a witness statement to the High Court. She underlined that her husband entered the service of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) with a considerable personal fortune due to his knowledge and expertise, gaining him prominence in financial sector. He successfully led the largest bank of the country for 14 years, before his resignation, he also hold a position of the Chairman of Baku Stock Exchange.

Back in 2015 Jahangir Hajiyev, in his last word at Baku Court said that bank loans were used for their intended purpose, and income-generating enterprises were opened for these funds. Loans were returned on time. Hajiyev believes that these loans can not be considered as “problematic” because the time for their repayment has not expired. Problems with the return of loans began after his resignation. Hajiyev blamed the failures on Finance Minister Samir Sharifov, because he served as the representative of the Ministry of Finance who is the head of the permanent council of the IBA.

According to banker’s lawyer Fahriddin Mehtiyev, the criminal case against Hajiyev was investigated with gross procedural violations. The lawyer pointed to the illegal methods of the investigation by the Directorate General for Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs  of Azerbaijan  systemically breaching the law.

Hajiyev was detained for 38 days in the the solitary confinement, in a gross violation of the Azeri law, said Mehtiyev,  defending the interest of the banker, underlining that all 30 complains against these procedural violations were ignored. The entire court procedure was a sheer abuse of a criminal justice system, or as Georgia Today described it, the case against Jahangir Hajiyev resemble more of a “political score settling”.

They used the financial crisis as an excuse to remove him as CEO of the bank in a manner that ensures that he will never return and challenge their positions of power,” wrote Georgia Today.

“…First Family simply changed the narrative. Not them. Him. Jahangir Hajiyev, who now sits in a jail cell on trumped-up charges in a nation ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world” – writes Bay Nabiyev in Medium, explaining the sudden fall of the most powerful banker of Azerbaijan by his potential to challenge President Aliyev illimited powers.

Jahangir Hajiyev: “Women should not be avenged for their husbands”, the banker said when he had to pay to one of his rivals –Gadji Mamedov – USD20 million to liberate his abducted wife Zamira in 2005.

According to British media Zamira Hajiyev acquired the following:

  • £10 million on Mill Ride Golf Club in Berkshire
  • £31 million on a Gulfstream G550 jet
  • £150,000 on Boucheron jewellery  n a single day
  • £100,000 on Cartier jeweller.

 

Aliyev won a new seven-year term

Exit polls suggested Aliyev, who ran for the ruling New Azerbaijan party, will secure a fourth consecutive term in office with over 80% of the vote in the April 11 election, which Human Rights Watch (HRW) said did not provide “a viable choice” for the voters.

Aliyev received 82.7 percent of the vote, a government-commissioned exit poll conducted by Azerbaijani pollster Els Independent Research Center showed, which would give Aliyev a new seven-year term in office.

The private French pollster, Opinion Way, said he garnered 86.5 percent of the vote.

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

%d0%b0%d0%bb%d0%b8%d0%b5%d0%b2%d1%8b

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.

 

 

EU-Azerbaijan meeting overshadowed by Human Rights issues

azerbijan-hr

Europen Union officials should press President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan to free unjustly imprisoned political activists, journalists, and other government critics, Human Rights Watch said today. EU officials should also urge Aliyev to end the crackdown on independent groups and allow them to operate without undue government interference.

President Aliyev will be in Brussels on February 6, 2017, to inaugurate talks on a new partnership agreement between Azerbaijan and the EU to enhance political and economic ties between them. He is set to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, and other top EU officials.

“Time and time again, the EU has praised courageous human rights defenders, pledging to ‘throw the EU’s full weight behind them,’” said  Lotte Leicht, EU director at Human Rights Watch. “As the EU and Azerbaijan forge a new era of cooperation, now is the time to make good on those EU promises and not sweep Aliyev’s crackdown on dissent, and basic human rights under the red carpet.”

In a joint leeter signed by 76 human rights groups worldwide and sent to top EU officials, the groups said the EU should use the meetings with President Aliyev to secure concrete commitments for urgently needed rights reforms in Azerbaijan.

In recent years, the Azerbaijan government has made concerted efforts to restrict independent activism, critical journalism, and opposition political activity by imprisoning and harassing many activists, prominent human rights defenders, and journalists. Draconian laws and regulations impede the operation of independent groups and their ability to secure funding.