Monday, September 13

Dissidents or not, the truth is- there is no freedom of expression in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani authorities like to claim that Azerbaijan has no issues with freedom of expression, that we have free press, and above all, all rights are respected. In fact, if it was up to the local authorities, we live in utopia and everything is absolutely perfect. But unlike authorities, civil society activists, human rights proponents and the rest of the sane population (of which there is little left) claim otherwise. In other words, there is no such thing as freedom of expression in Azerbaijan. 

It is not a surprise, that the report was released just in time of approaching parliamentary elections, scheduled for November 7. Given that ever since last parliamentary elections (held in 2005) much has changed. 

However, just as all the previous international reports, it is likely that this report as well will have little if any effect or as a matter of fact any positive/ pressing result on the Azerbaijani authorities. In fact, at a time when Article 19 was issuing this report, Azerbaijani authorities were busy celebrating Azerbaijan's new achievement- the highest flag pole in the world. 

If only half of the spending on projects like this were transferred to things people really need in this country. I doubt that average Azeri with a salary of 85EUR a month cares whether its country has the highest flag pole or not. That wont make any of his daily surviving troubles go away or make his family any happier. Or will it?!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

agree! :)