Friday, December 5

And then there was no one left...

One by one the government is coming after its outspoken critics. One by one...

Today, Azerbaijan's Sabail District Court sentenced, the country's prominent investigative journalist and brave critic of the government Khadija Ismayil. 

If convicted, Khadija is facing anything between three to seven years. She is charged with Article 125 of the Criminal Code (incitement to suicide commitment). 

Yesterday, in some kind of a tribute to Russia, country's god father, Ramiz Mehdiyev accused Khadija of treason, calling her and people like her spies working for the west. 

Many voices have been silenced in Azerbaijan. 

There are over 90 political prisoners. 

The government is gradually ticking off the list of people it doesn't like either through intimidation, smear, humiliation, and arrest. 

There are not that many people left. 

If this is the pace of things, then soon there wont be anyone left. And this is what the Azerbaijani government is trying to do. To silence, to destroy and get rid of any such voices. 

So far, they are winning...

Sunday, November 30

Azerbaijan a country where gazelles and leopards are more valuable than its people

So Azerbaijani First Lady together with her two daughters attends "Here Today" exhibition in London last week. The exhibition "takes on the challenge of raising awareness of today's most pressing environmental issues, and seeks to raise funds to keep the hundreds of species facing extinction here tomorrow and beyond" reads the explanation on the official website. 

Supported by Artwise [Curators] who" take pride in delivering art of the highest quality in a professional manner" and glossy Baku Magazine  (managed by one of the President's daughters) the exhibition received a lot of coverage back in Azerbaijan. How could it not?! With the First Lady and the two daughters there not sure it could have been otherwise (not to mention one of Leyla Aliyeva's works was also featured at the exhibition). 

In her opening speech, daughter Leyla Aliyeva said, "In Azerbaijan, we enlighten the youth on protection of the environment". I wonder if Ms. Aliyeva is aware but in Azerbaijan people prefer throwing trash as they walk on the streets rather than use rubbish bins. And its all over the country done by young and old.  So I am not sure which "youth" she refers to because majority of it doesn't care much about environment. 

As to preserving endangered species and what not, I think our government should focus on preserving its respect towards human rights and freedom of expression, release its political prisoners first. Otherwise it really looks like gazelles and Caucasian leopards are a lot more precious than a human life. Maybe this could be IDEA's next project. I am sure daddy and mommy would approve...