Tuesday, November 8

Azerbaijan developments after September Referendum

Although one can hardly call these developments.

I pick up on an entry I wrote about arrests ahead of September Referendum.

So it happened and the authorities got what they wanted. All proposed 29 amendments "received" overwhelming approval from the general public.

In the meantime, arrests and detentions continue in post-referendum Azerbaijan.

Below is the list recent arrests, detentions and sentences:

October 11, member of Popular Front Party Khatai Nabiyev, was detained in Sumgayit and sentenced to 30 days in administrative detention.

October 14, head of Nefchala branch of Popular Front Party Aflatun Ahmadzade was briefly detained and then released.

October 25, youth activist Giyas Ibrahimov sentenced to 10 years on bogus drug possession charges.

Also on October 25th, court extended pretrial detention period of journalist Fikrat Faramazoglu by another three months. More on his case here.

November 3, member of Popular Front Party Samir Mammadov was detained and sentenced to one month in administrative detention for reasons unknown.

November 5, two youth activists Tapdiq Mammadov and Elmir Tahmin are detained and sentenced to 30 day administrative detention for writing graffiti in the city of Ganja.

November 7, Popular Front Party member Vusal Zeynalov was detained in Agstava and sentenced to 20 days in administrative detention for allegedly resisting police.

Azerbaijan's postal service is like a black hole when it comes to politically sensitive documents

And it is not even funny. 

For a second time already, the country's postal service says it "lost" an envelope addressed to the European Court of Human Rights. Speaking with local media, lawyer Nemat Karimli said, it is second time that Azerbaijani postal service lost Fuad Gahramnli's documents that were meant to reach the ECHR. 

Gahramanli, is deputy head of Azerbaijan's opposition Popular Front Party. He was arrested on December 8 of 2015 for his critical of the government Facebook status updates. He is being charged with challenging state authority and inciting national, racial, religious hatred and hostility. 

Previously, the postal service "lost" documents in the case of freelance reporter Shirin Abbasov who at the time had complaint letters mailed. Abbasov's lawyer, received compensation in the amount of 82AZN. 

This time the postal service has been quiet. 

Azerbaijan's postal service is notorious for being "interested" in mail of its citizens. For decades packages sent from abroad would come half open or glued all over. Sometimes, the contents would be missing or not all in place. Surely there is no concrete evidence, but plenty of personal anecdotes and experiences are enough to conclude, that big brother with tiny mustache and his friends keep an eye out on what people send and receive.