Wednesday, February 3

How government of Azerbaijan educates its outspoken bloggers?

There are few things the government of Azerbaijan is really good at. Intimidation, pressure, crackdown on dissent and so on- are some of its signature moves. But there is more including arrests, beating and murder. 

But there is also the “ethical conversations” which take place between officials of Ministry of Internal Affairs (sometimes also by notorious Band Hotel) and the activists. Often they disappear for some time while the Ministry staff "works on" what Russians would describe as “vospitaniye” [воспитание] which translates into “education” but doesn’t really do justice to the actual meaning of its word (although if you think of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall" you would get a better idea). 

They “explain” and “talk sense” into these men that what they are doing is essentially wrong and they should not be complaining, creating noise, and disagreeing with what government says and does. 

This time, the representatives of Ministry of Internal Affairs were trying to talk sense into a young blogger, Khalid Khanlarov. The young man was arrested few days ago and sentenced to 25 days in administrative detention for resisting police on January 23. 

Khanlarov was administrator of a popular Facebook page “Ditdili” that was critical of the government. And so it is obvious that it wasn’t him resisting the police but the authorities resisting Khanlarov’s outspokenness. 

His lawyer Shahla Humbatova says her client was forced to write a confession and in return he was given the 25 days otherwise she says he was threatened with 6-7 years sentence. 

Khanlarov’s mother was also called into the police. “Your son will meet a man named Farid from Ministry of Internal Affairs”, said the deputy chief to Khanlarov’s mother during the meeting. Later, Khanlarov speaking to his mother told her this meeting, where he was “educated”. After that he was taken to police station no.4 in Binagadi district from where he was taken to the court and received the 25 days sentence. 

So just fyi- it isn't just glitzy events Aliyevistan is good at while hiding the rest of the truth behind high walls [aka belt of happiness], when it comes to muting dissent, it can make money off consulting others how to do this best. 

Suicide records soar in Azerbaijan

Hanging, self immolation, are some of the desperate ways Azerbaijanis are ending their lives because they are unable to take care of their families and pay off bank loans especially as the country hit its second devaluation in just one year. 

This time, it was a resident of Shirvan, 43-year-old Safayet Aghayev who hung himself in the garden of the house where he lived. His wife found the body. In his suicide letter Safayet said he was unable to find a job and had much debt. 

Another attempt to suicide took place in Aghcabedi. This time, a 52-year-old woman let herself ablaze due to outstanding debt. 

 In Lokbatan, young man, just 27 years old, hung himself inside the garage. 

An in another settlement, 39 year old Aynur Khanjanova hung herself. 

On January 23, Asim Mammadov, actor at Mingachevir State Drama Theater attempted suicide. The actor said he has 15,000USD in loans he cannot pay back. 

Another resident self immolated on January 19. Gulara Hasanova died of her wounds. 

And on January 13, Zafar Guliyev was found dead having hung himself from a tree. On the same day 34-year-old Goshgar Ashurov committed suicide by throwing himself under a train in Baku metro. 

And these are just reported deaths from the month of January [for some of the cases mentioned above, the reasons are yet unknown]. A series of attempts and deaths also took place last year.