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2023, 31 May, çərşənbə, Bakı vaxtı 05:25

Conscript Death, Additional Charges, Islamic Games 2017 and Political Prisoners: Azerbaijan Brief

Azerbaijan - Mahammad Siracli, died soldier, nov, 2015

Azerbaijan Popular Front advisor to the chairman receives additional charges

Mammad Ibrahim was originally charged with hooliganism but on November 10, Ibrahim received additional charge of engaging in an act of hooliganism while preventing/resisting a government representative. Ibrahim’s lawyer, Yalchin Imanov, says the new charge is absurd. Ibrahim was arrested September 30. If convicted on the previous charge of hooliganism Ibrahim is facing up to 2 years of correctional work but if found guilty on the new charge the Ibrahim might be facing 5 years of imprisonment.

From European Games to Islamic Games

It must have been the success of the European Games that Azerbaijan is hosting next Islamic Solidarity Games. The event is scheduled to take place May 12-24, 2017. There will be some 20 sporting events with over 3000 athletes coming to Azerbaijan. Unlike European Games, athletes are paying their travel costs and half of the accommodation costs. The host of the games- Azerbaijan will covers the other half. Answering AzadliqRadiosu questions, the vice president of the National Olympic Committee Chingiz Huseynzade said each country’s female athletes would be wearing whatever is the custom in their countries of origin. “Azerbaijani team of female athletes will be wearing their usual uniforms”.

Religious leader does not rule out yet another arrest

Shia imam Taleh Bagirzade and the head of the Muslims Union Movement recently dismissed all accusations against the movement and its members in an interview with AzadliqRadiosu. Speaking to the radio, Bagirzade said all of the recent allegations including the one associating the movement with “radical Islamists”, is nonsense. “All of this is because we are engaged in social and political work”, said Bagrizade. “Our work and everything we do is in line with the state constitution”.

Another mysterious death in the army

Although its been only two years since thousands of Azerbaijanis marched in Baku’s Fountain Square protesting deaths of conscripts in Azerbaijani military, young men continue dying in Azerbaijani armies. Like Mahammad Siracli’s body, which was returned to his family after Siracli’s 7 months deployment. Siracli’s family was told the 19 year old man killed himself but when the family saw three bullet shots on Siracli’s back they started asking questions, no one seems to have the answers for.

“How can a man shoot himself fro his back?” asked Siracli’s cousin. The family also saw signs of physical lesions on Siracli’s chest, lip, and his neck. “No one answered our questions. W took our boy and brought home home”, said the cousin in an interview with AzadliqRadiosu.

Siraclu was a unique conscript. He went to the army voluntarily. No one was willing to deploy him due to his disability- Siracli was visually impaired.

An interview with SOCAR’s president shakes up Azerbaijan’s social media and draws criticism both online and offline

When Rovnag Abdullayev was boasting about SOCAR’s assistance to a local news outlet ANS TV he was not expecting the backlash it was going to cause. In his interview Abdullayev said, Azerbaijan [SOCAR] was covering the gas costs of over 440 religious establishments in the neighboring Georgia including Armenian churches too. This sparked an outrage.

79 political prisoners on Azerbaijan’s new list of political prisoners

In a new report, Azerbaijan based rights defender organizations are publishing renewed list of the country’s political prisoners. According to the current calculations there are in total 79 prisoners of which 12 are journalists and bloggers, 7 are rights defenders, 4 are youth activists, and 5 are political personas. The list also includes the names of former government officials as well as religious activists.

The final list will be announced in December.