Tuesday, December 29

Just another shitty day in Azerbaijan

Its just one of those days. Shitty days. When you are left speechless and hopeless and weak and don't know what to do, what to say. 

Today, another veteran journalist in Azerbaijan got sentenced to 6 years in jail. Another bogus charge of course. And another good person behind bars. 

Also today, President Aliyev pardoned 210 prisoners. And while many of political prisoners, their families, their loved ones hoped and waited for at least some good news nothing happened. None of the political prisoners made it on to the list. They will have to wait for the next pardon (possibly in March), when his highness will have the mercy to forgive these innocent people who should not have been in jail in the first place. 

Arastun Orujlu, political scientist said today that it would have been good to have at least some of the prisoners released especially to get in the way of the recently discussed sanctions.  

Parliament member Malahat Ibrahimqizi on the other hand claims that those pardoned deserve a second chance because these people have accepted their sins and have become healthy individuals eager to be freed. "The reason these people were pardoned was because they regret their crimes. As for those talking about political prisoners should not turn the pardon into some kind of political bargain".  

So basically it is absolutely ok to have people who have done drugs, sold drugs, killed people, and stole from people released while keep people who have never hurt a single soul, who have only spoken truth and have done wonderful, good and rights things in jail because they refuse to accept the "crimes" they never committed? Is that what she means by "healthy individuals"?

Bravo! And these are the people who "represent" the nation in the parliament, making decisions, adopting laws, and "caring" for the people. I guess she is just one of those "healthy individuals" herself.

She should have met the families of political prisoners then today. I think that would have really shown her the reality of stupidity of her words! 

She should have heard what blogger Omar Mammadov's parents had to say about the decision. "I do not understand why they are treating their own people this way? Why this cruelty? At least they should have the decency to come and say why they are being so cruel?", said Mammadov's father shortly after he too realized his son was not going to join his family this year either. 

Others blamed it on the sanctions. It was because of the mounting pressure that the government decided to retaliate commented one of the members of the working group on human rights in charge of compiling and presenting a list of prisoners to the government (strangely this group doesn't recognize the list of 93 political prisoners compiled by another group of rights defenders and journalists whose authors are currently in jail with an exception of Leyla Yunus). 

But this decision has nothing to do with the sanctions. Aliyev is simply showing muscle at the expense of innocent people and their hopes. Because this wicked game he is playing is the only understanding he has- because he is afraid that if he pardons political prisoners today, he will be viewed as a weak leader among his own kind and perhaps one day will be challenged himself. Because he knows no other way. And because he doesn't give a damn about any of those individuals. And because he prefers to have thugs and thieves roam around the country because they will never challenge Aliyev.  

And this is essentially what Aliyev fears the most- the power of wisdom and good will these people actually have. 

Something tells me there will be many more shitty days to come...

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