Tuesday, October 7

Azerbaijan's one hell of a public service efficiency

If there is one thing Azerbaijani government is efficient at then I'd say its jailing people (and I see how authorities might see this as part of the public service). It is true that recent service provision like "asan xidmet" [Trans: Easy Service] have made things a tat bit easier for citizens to get things done but lets be honest here, writing about this is like saying shut your eyes and just get what i shove down your throat - if its public service efficiency crap then that's what its going to be for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Here is why the rant. An article that appeared on Guardian talks about an e-service center that started working in the capital of Baku providing citizens "eased" public services. You can get a new passport as well as national identification card and a myriad of other services done here. And its all corruption free! Yeay!

The problem isn't so much about the service but about who stands behind it. The man behind is Ali Huseynov, an MP, and by default member of the ruling party. He is also Chairman of the Parliament's Law Committee which means he is behind many of the draconian laws Azerbaijani parliament adopted in the past. Huseynov firmly stands behind his GONGO called Azerbaijan Lawyer Confederation where he is the chairman of the board. 

The author of the Guardian article is Kamal Jafarov, who happens to be the Secretary General of the same Confederation. 

Get the link between the two? Maybe it was even Huseynov who wrote the piece and needed someone else name to put on that article. But thats besides the point. The point is while we have over 98 political prisoners, dismal rights record, and decapitated media, how can we have "news" about services as Asan. Its like, hey, no matter how many people are sent to jail and under what pretext, the important thing is that you can still pay your bills and get your shit done at this one place - isn't it great?! Isn't this wonderful?! Who cares about the rest, isn't it all just a technicality?! 

Saturday, October 4

Killing her harshly

Yea, I know that song but its not about it, or maybe it is. What I am going to share is certainly about killing but not softly in this case. In prison they either kill you immediately or harshly (well you might say harshly softly too). 

Leyla Yunus, is a prominent human rights advocate from Azerbaijan. A woman of great respect, she has done her share of service to her country.

As many of you know she has been in prison. On false charges [just like 98 other political prisoners behind bars in Azerbaijan]. 

There has been a very special treatment towards Mrs. Yunus. She has been beaten by the prison guard already. She has been harassed by her cell mate. But above all, it looks like the prison management is determined on killing Mrs. Yunus. It must be easy for them. Keep the cell without heating. Don't give the person hot water to wash. Keep the medication away and voila soon you might have a dead inmate.

She has written numerous complaints, sent statements and pleas. But to no avail. The recent statement by her lawyers says she might not survive this winter unless the facilities and treatment changes and she is given proper medical care at the hospital.  It is unlikely the prison will comply since they don't care and they are bound to what the guys with big bellies "up there" tell them to do.

So what its going to be? Killing her harshly? Or softly? Or saving face and preventing a disaster rolling over their heads?!