Or so, you could possibly (but maybe not, thats the optimist in me talking), interpret the new amendments to be adopted for the law on NGOs. The pessimist in me, on the other hand, says that I shouldn't be surprised if a number of international NGOs are kicked out, and the local ones are shut down. After all, the GoA did ban international radios from broadcasting on the local frequencies and the President has been officially dismissing rankings and reports of international institutions as Freedom House or Human Rights Watch.
"Organizations like Freedom House, are not objective... You cannot count FH ranking or conclusions correct because if we were as undemocratic as they say, then we wouldn't have been named top reformer by the World Bank Doing Business Report or SOFAZ wouldn't have been presented with the transparency award by the UN" said Ilham Aliyev, in an interview with Xalq newspaper on January 15, 2009. Frankly, not surprised to this reaction because on January 12, 2009, Freedom House Report, in its most recent report called Azerbaijan an authoritarian country.
About 10 days later, there was another article with the president's speech- an excerpt from a conference on the socio- economic development of the country for the previous year- where a similar comment was made: "some 'bədxaxlar' () and those who are not familiar with our country, who are jealous, bad mouth our economy and our country". Sounds to me like a first grade of primary school or worse, a conservative school where a teacher is trying to preach or more truly, brainwash its students.
Anyway, not to deviate from my initial point, while officials state that these amendments of "technical" nature (of course, you are free to believe that they are indeed "technical" and that maybe for once it is actually the truth?!), I wonder how far their "technical" label goes? Maybe something like "none of the international NGOs can get involved in political development, human rights work"? Or "we have achieved full economic, political freedom, and this country has no more human rights problems, so pack your bags and leave (like in the song: "shut up and go")?" And I also wonder, if the recent visa amendments have to do anything with these so called "technical" amendments? Oh, almost forgot, good news people, we might not be even allowed to use internet soon!!!
Long live democracy and freedom in Azerbaijan!