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Drain This Swamp - By Alex Raufoglu
Corruption on the Caspian: Fueling Aliyev's Regime - by Rebeka Foley
Pressure on Aliyev Works - Azeri Report Editorial
Persian Racism and "Aryan Supremacy" Irritate Largest Ethnic Minority in Iran-by Umud Duzgun
US does not support Azerbaijan. It supports Aliyevs - Azeri Report Editorial
31 Hours Marooned at Azerbaijan’s Airport - by Giorgi Gogia
Free Khadija Ismayilova - by Arch Puddington
“Please Give Us More Time to Imprison and Kill Our Political Opponents…” - by Ganimat Zahid
Azerbaijan Undermines Its International Image: Does it matter for Aliyev Government? - by Alakbar Raufoglu
Washington's Darling Ambassador - Azeri Report Editorial
Open Letter to Secretary Kerry: Why US is Betraying Its Friends and Values in Azerbaijan? - by Elmar Chakhtakhtinski
A Letter from an Azerbaijani Prison... - by Khadija Ismayilova
37 Continues: Aliyev Regime Practices Hostage Taking - by Ganimat Zahid
A Man Like Khadija - by Seymur Hazi
The Two Faces of Azerbaijan's Government - by Altay Goyushov
Khadija Ismayilova Arrested as Journalist and Human Rights Defender - by Rebecca Vincent
Azerbaijan Where Justice is a Prisoner - by Vugar Gojayev
Brenda Shaffer's Conflicts of Interest - by Casey Michel
Iranian Government Is Killing Lake Urmia - by Umud Duzgun
"Dark Times" in Azerbaijan - by Veronika Szente Goldston
What is Going On in Azerbaijan and Its NGO Sector - by Ali S. Novruzov
The Price of Tyranny Will Be Paid in Blood in Azerbaijan - by Elmar Chakhtakhtinski
The Parallel Realities of President Ilham Aliyev - by Giorgi Gogia
"Allahu Akbar" and Social Mutation - by Ganimat Zahidov
Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe: Crisis of Legitimacy - by Vugar Gojayev
The Iranian Delirium of Azerbaijani Regime's Proponents - by Elmar Chakhtakhtinski
The Georgian and Azerbaijani Elections: A Postmortem - by Richard Kauzlarich
How Europe Failed Azerbaijan - by Aslan Amani
Azerbaijan: The Challenges of Selling Oil Rich State’s Massive Electoral Fraud to the US Public - by Elmar Chakhtakhtinski
Corrupt Dictator Is Challenged by a Scholar in Azerbaijan’s Presidential Elections - by Elmar Chakhtakhtinski
EU and Azerbaijan: Setting the Record Straight - by Eldar Mamedov
How Azerbaijan is Like 'The Godfather' - by Michael Weiss
Karabakh and Democracy: Putting Carriage Before the Horse - by Elmar Chakhtakhtinski
Azerbaijan Stirred, Not Shaken by Turkish Protests - by Shahla Sultanova
Abulfaz Elchibey and Democracy - by Irena Lasota
The EU and Azerbaijan: Mismatched Objectives - by Giorgi Gogia
Presidential Elections in Iran Mean Nothing for Iran's Ethnic Minorities - by Umud Duzgun
A Double Standard Won't Do for Baku - by Eldar Mamedov
Open Letter to American Participants of US-Azerbaijan Convention in Baku - by Elmar Chakhtakhtinski
When the Music Dies... - by Rebecca Vincent
Azerbaijani FM's Diplomatic Trip to Isreal Tweaks Tehran - by Shahin Abbasov
Sound Bites Aside... - by Andy Heil
Oil and Stability in Azerbaijan - by Lucy Wallwork
Azerbaijan & Iran: A Soft-Power Struggle? - by Eldar Mamedov
A Tale of Two Azerbaijanis - by Murad Gassanly
"Notebook About Cuba" of Vahid Gazi - Story of "Island of Freedom" - by Rustam Ibragimbekov
South Azerbaijan Is Not Iran - By Umud Duzgun
Azerbaijan and EU: Recalibrating Relations? - by Eldar Mamedov



OCCRP Investigation: Azerbaijani President's Banking Business
OCCRP Investigation: Offshores Close to President Aliyev Paid Nothing for State Share of Telecom
U.S. Lawmakers Traveling to Azerbaijan Urged Action Benefiting SOCAR which Funded Their Trip
Political Prisoner Seymur Hazi's Final Statement
SOCAR Chief's Son Does "Charity" with Public Funds - by Khalid Kazimov
TeliaSonera’s Behind-the-Scenes Connection to Azerbaijani President’s Daughters- by Khadija Ismayil
Ali Hasanov's Media Business: Journalist Investigation by Khadija Ismayilova
The Corleones of the Caspian - by Michael Weiss, Foreign Policy
Azerbaijani Police Fires Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas at Protesting Small Business Owners
AZAD Letter Supports the Removal of Heydar Aliyev Statue from Mexico City

What is to be Done With Pseudo-Democracies. Hikmat Hajizade's Presentation on January 25, 2012

EMDS Final Report on Azerbaijan's Parliamentary Elections on November 7, 2010

"Resource Nationalism Trends In Azerbaijan, 2004-2009," Research by Vugar Gojayev, March 2010

February 16, 2010 - NHC Report: "Nakhchivan: Azerbaijan's Dark Island"

"End of Term Limits. Monarchical Presidencies on the Rise," by Farid Guliyev, Harvard International Review, Feb. 28, 2009
"Imitation Democracies," by Dmitri Furman, New Left Review, Nov/Dec. Issue, 2008

Politics of Energy: Comparing Azerbaijan, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia - by Jos Boonstra, Edward

Burke and Richard Young, FRIDE, September 2008
Azeri Minister of Interior Helped Georgian Government To Suppress Opposition In November 2007

Azerbaijan's 2005 Parliamentary Elections: A Failed Attempt At Transition - by Valerie J. Bunce and Sharon L. Wolchik

Christopher Walker Attacked Azeri Dictatorship At Helsinki Commission
Praise to Dictator
US Lobbying Firm Accused of Accepting Bribes from Azeri Government to Discredit Opposition

90 Years Anniversary of First Muslim Democracy - Azerbaijan Democratic Republic

Last Words of Ganimat Zahid


Interesting Read

Azerbaijani Embassy To Host Hannukah Celebration At Trump Hotel In Washington

WASHINGTON. December 6, 2016 (RFE/RL): The Azerbaijani embassy in Washington will co-host a holiday party at U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s Washington hotel this month, news media reported on December 5.

The embassy will co-host the Hanukkah party “celebrating religious freedom and diversity” with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a collection of national Jewish groups.

The Jewish organization said it chose the Trump hotel because of its desirable central location in the U.S. capital.

Some ethics experts say the paid use of Trump properties by foreign governments poses a conflict of interest, since it can be seen as a way to try to influence the new president.

Drain this Swamp!

What happens when top U.S. peace negotiator in Caucasus becomes Putin’s apologist?

By Alex Raufoglu

WASHINGTON. November 29, 2016:

Dear American Democracy,

In case you puzzled why Trump happened — why the country just voted for a populist leader who campaigned on targeting “the corporate lobbyists and elite,” basing a large amount of his platform on “ridding Washington of corruption,” here is an interesting story for you to consider:

Early last week, top U.S. peace negotiator in Caucasus, whose mandate includes working with local leaders to seek a long term peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia, announced on his Twitter account that he will “step down on December 31,” to become… “a partner in Russia’s largest and most prestigious law firm.”

No, you didn’t hear me wrong.

Ambassador James Warlick, a career U.S. diplomat with more than three decades of experience, who has spent his last three years representing the U.S. as a peacemaker in the Caucasus, will join a leading Russian law firm thought to be associated with the main troublemaker — Vladimir Putin.

The name of the Russian firm is Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners, or EPA&P.

Belarus President Arrives In Baku For Two-Day Visit

BAKU. November 28, 2016 (RFE/RL): :Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has arrived in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, for a two-day visit.

Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub Eyyubov and Deputy Foreign Minister Xalaf Xalafov met Lukashenka at the Baku airport on November 28.

Lukashenka's press service said earlier that the Belarusian president will hold talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, and Azerbaijani Prime Minister Artur Rasizade focusing on bilateral economic and trade ties.

According to the press service, several agreements were expected to be signed at the end of Lukashenka's visit. -0-

Another Top Level US Diplomat Joins Foreign Company Immediately After Leaving His Position

WASHINGTON. November 22, 2016 (RFE/RL): U.S Ambassador James Warlick says he will step down on December 31 as co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group mediating talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.

"I will be a partner in Russia's largest and most prestigious law firm," Warlick said on Twitter on November 21.

Warlick has worked for the U.S. State Department for more than 30 years.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners said he will join the company's team in Washington in January.

"He will be responsible for working with U.S. and international clients, development of strategic client relationships, legislation, and public policy," a statement said.

EU Calls for Azerbaijan to Meet Its Commitments on Human Rights
STRASBOURG. November 21, 2016 ( The EU has called for Azerbaijan to release opposition politician Ilgar Mammadov, saying that it must uphold its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe and to meet its commitments taken under the European Convention on Human Rights. The EU stated that the negative ruling by the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan on an appeal from Mammadov runs counter to the 2014 judgement by the European Court of Human Rights on his case.

“The European Union has been following Mr. Mammadov's case closely and was present for yesterday's court proceedings, together with other international observers. The EU has raised this case at every opportunity, such as during the visit of the High Representative/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini, to Baku on 29 February and as part of recent positive discussions with Azerbaijan on Justice, Freedom, Security, Human Rights and Democracy, which resumed on 12-13 October 2016”,  the EU statement  said. -0-

EU Foreign Ministers Approve Mandate For New Azerbaijan Pact

BRUSSELS. November 14, 2016 (RFE/RL): European Union foreign ministers have given the green light to draw up a new "comprehensive agreement" on closer ties with Azerbaijan.

Meeting in Brussels on November 14, the ministers adopted a mandate for the European Commission and EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini to negotiate the deal.

The new agreement would replace the 1996 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that has regulated the political relationship between Brussels and the oil- and gas-rich country to date.

Could the Aliyev Government Have Access to a Clinton White House?

Giorgi Lomsadze,

WASHINGTON. November 7, 2016: A lobbyist connection between Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and Azerbaijan could create the appearance of a conflict of interest, if the democratic nominee wins the US general election on November 8.

For the past seven years, the Podesta Group, a high-powered Washington lobbying firm, has handled networking and image-building for Azerbaijan’s embassy in the United States. Azerbaijan ranks alongside Tajikistan as the third worst rights abuser in the former Soviet Union, behind Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, according to the watchdog group Freedom House.

The Podesta Group’s chief executive officer is 73-year-old Tony Podesta, who has acted as a major fundraiser for the Clinton campaign. In addition, Podesta’s 67-year-old brother, John, serves as Clinton’s campaign chairman, and previously served as former president Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.

John Podesta co-founded the firm, but has not been directly involved in the Podesta Group since 1993. As Clinton’s campaign chairman and, potentially, a future official or adviser in a Clinton administration, he could potentially be of help in enabling Azerbaijani officials, via the Podesta Group, to gain access to White House officials, some human rights activists worry.

Giyas Ibrahimov: I Broke Non-Written Rules of the System

November 2, 2016: Below is the final speech of the imprisoned Azerbaijani pro-democracy activist Giyas Ibrahimov which he gave during his trial on October 25, 2016. Giyas Ibrahimov was arrested on trumped-up drug possession charges after he painted anti-regime graffiti on the statue of Heydar Aliyev, the late president of Azerbaijan and the father of the incumbent president of Azerbaijan. Despite the insistence of the judge of the local Azerbaijani court, Giyas Ibrahimov refused to defend himself against the fabricated drug charges and delivered a political speech instead. The prosecutor demanded a nine-year sentence for Giyas Ibrahimov. Anvar Seyidov, presiding judge, made it a ten-year sentence to show his extra loyalty to the Aliyev regime. Below is the translation of the full text of Giyas Ibrahimov's final speech at his trial:

Translated from Azeri by Khadija Ismayil

I prepared a speech, but my written documents were confiscated.
I am not going to defend myself with regard to the charges brought against me. The crime I committed is as white as the graffiti spray I used. The real reason why I am here is that I as a young student dared to protest against lies of political system and nihilist mind existing in this state, the country that I belong to.

I didn’t break any written law. In written laws, my deeds are not described as a crime. What I broke is the non-written rules of the system.

Ten-Year Prison Sentence for Azeri Pro-Democracy Youth Activist's Anti-Government Graffiti

BAKU. October 26, 2016: On October 25, the local court in Baku sentenced Giyas Ibrahimov (left on the picture), pro-democracy youth activist, to ten years of imprisonment. Giyas Ibrahimov, together with his friend Bayram Mammadov had written anti-government graffiti on the statue of the late president Heydar Aliyev who happens to be the father of the incumbent president Ilham Aliyev. 

Both Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov have been identified through the CCTV cameras near the monument but arrested on trumped-up narcotics possession charges.  Bayram Mammadov’s trial is still going on, while the local court already announced the verdict on Giyas Ibrahimov. 

The local observers noted that the prosecutor actually demanded a nine-year sentence for Ibrahimov, whereas the presiding judge Anvar Seyidov, obviously trying to show his loyalty to the president Ilham Aliyev, added one more year to Giyas Ibrahimov’s sentence given that the youth activist’s “crime” was insulting the president’s father’s statue.  Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev inherited power from his father Heydar in 2003. This year President Ilham Aliyev initiated a referendum and changed the country’s constitution, lifting the age limit to become a president, as many local observers have pointed out, so that his son Heydar junior could one day replace him as the president of Azerbaijan.

After the prison sentence was announced Giyas Ibrahimov’s mother Shura Ibrahimova said: “I am not going to cry!” She also said “Ilham Aliyev stole 10 years from my son’s life in order to make his son the president,” referring to the constitutional referendum Ilham Aliyev had initiated.

Human Rights Watch Demands Immediate Release of Imprisoned Pro-Democracy Activist in Azerbaijan

By Giorgi Gogia, (

NEW YORK. October 26, 2016: Today, an Azerbaijani court handed down a ten-year prison sentence to a 22-year-old activist, who is part of a pro-democracy youth group. Giyas Ibrahimov was detained for spraying graffiti on a statue of a former president. However, he was convicted on serious drugs charges. He had confessed to those charges after police had tortured him to do so – just another example of how Azerbaijan fabricates charges against youth activists to intimidate them and deter others.

Police detained Ibrahimov together with 21-year-old Bayram Mammadov last May. They had both been identified on CCTV footage as having painted graffiti on a statue of former president Heydar Aliyev, father of the current president. The graffiti said: “Happy Slave Day” in Azeri, a play on words for “Happy Flower Day.” Azerbaijan has celebrated Flower Day, also Heydar Aliyev’s birthday, since 2009. Both men are students and members of NIDA, Azeri for exclamation mark, a youth opposition movement active on social media that is highly critical of the government.

Washington panel discusses Azerbaijan's dirty money in the context of U.S. national security

WASHINGTON. October 22, 2016 (Turan): Top U.S. and European analysts on global kleptocracy and money laundering challenges debate over how to stop Azerbaijan's dirty cash entering the western capitals and threatening their political, economic interests.

"Do we think it is okay when the kleptocratic states like Azerbaijan, access our political institutions and lobby here in a same way as our allies can?" asked British journalist Ben Judah, the author of a new report called "The Kleptocracy Curse: Rethinking Containment," at a panel organized by Hudson Institute in Washington. D.C.

The report explains how kleptocracy became a pervasive global threat to democracies and their national securities.

"We think globalization has been working in the West's favor. In fact, it has been hijacked by kleptocratic regimes," Judah told TURAN's Washington correspondent. "Unless we contain kleptocracy, our democratic institutions will be taken over - look at Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe [CoE]."

According to the report, Azerbaijan was admitted to the CoE in 2000 in the hope that membership could transform its political culture - instead, it has transformed the Council of Europe in its very image.

"A kleptocratic takeover has not paralyzed the Council’s ability to criticize Azerbaijan but manipulated this venerable institutions’ official bodies into denying the existence of political prisoners, systematic ballot fraud, and entrenched autocracy in the country."

Human Rights Watch: Relentless Crackdown on Critics in Azerbaijan

BERLIN. October 20, 2016 ( The Azerbaijani government has renewed its vicious crackdown on critics and independent groups, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The European Union and international financial institutions have a rare opportunity to insist on human rights reforms, as Azerbaijan actively seeks financial and other partnerships to offset a recent economic downturn.

The 75-page report, “Harassed, Imprisoned, Exiled: Azerbaijan’s Continuing Crackdown on Government Critics, Lawyers, and Civil Society,” documents the government’s concerted efforts to undermine civil society. Human Rights Watch found that in 2016, the authorities used false, politically motivated criminal and administrative charges to prosecute political activists, journalists, and others. The government has built a restrictive legal and policy framework to paralyze the work of independent groups. Lawyers willing to defend critics have faced retaliation and disbarment. Although the authorities released several human rights defenders and others in early 2016, many others remain in prison or fled into exile.

“With the release of some wrongfully imprisoned activists earlier this year, there were high hopes that Azerbaijan was turning a corner,” said Giorgi Gogia, South Caucasus director at Human Rights Watch and author of the report. “But optimism is fading fast as the government relentlessly pursues critics and tries to shut down independent groups.”

Azerbaijan's Civil Society Introduces New List of Political Prisoners

BAKU. October 17, 2016 (Turan): Working Group of Civil Society of Azerbaijan released a new single list of political prisoners including 94 people. Among them, 6 journalists and bloggers, two publicists, a human rights activist, 5 youth activists, members of political parties 5, practicing religious followers 61 and three life convicts.

In general, the list of 139 persons concerned; 45 of them are identified as potential political prisoners and are included in "being monitored".

The Working Party stresses that in fact the number of political prisoners is significantly more.

"However, the reaction media in the country causes many to refrain from publicizing their cases. Another problem is not legal awareness, lack of lawyers. The situation is especially bad in regions, where there are no mechanisms to protect human rights," stated in the report of the Working Group.

Pope Francis Visits Majority-Muslim Azerbaijan

BAKU. October 4, 2016 (RFE/RL): Pope Francis has led a Mass in Azerbaijan's capital and held talks with the country's leader, as he continues a swing through the Caucasus preaching tolerance and peace.

Upon his arrival at Baku's airport on October 2, Francis celebrated Mass in the Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

"You are a little flock that is so precious in God's eyes," Francis told the more than 800 people who followed the Mass inside the church and outside in the courtyard.

Azerbaijan has fewer than 300 Catholics in its predominantly Shi'ite Muslim population.

The pontiff later met with longtime President Ilham Aliyev, who called the visit "historic."

"Your visit to Azerbaijan is very important for relations between Azerbaijan and the Vatican, including the dialogue between civilizations," Aliyev said.

"People of all religions live in Azerbaijan in an atmosphere of friendship, as one family," he added.

National Council Refuses to Recognize Legitimacy of Azerbaijan's Constitutional Referendum

BAKU. September 28, 2016: The Azerbaijani opposition National Council of Democratic Forces issued a statement refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the recent constitutional referendum increasing the powers of the incumbent Azeri president Ilham Ailyev.  Below is the statement of the National Council:

A referendum vote on proposed constitutional amendments took place on September 26. In spite of the National Election Commission’s declaration that the turnout was close to 70%, objective observations demonstrate clearly that the Azerbaijani citizens effectively boycotted this referendum. The information obtained by the National Council from various polling centers show that the turnout was extremely low. Less than 10 % of voters took part at referendum. Even the always prevalent carousel method, whereby the special groups of people funded by budgetary organizations, move from one polling center to another voting several times at different locations, could not increase the turnout. Across all polling centers, ballot boxes were stuffed with bundles of vote bulletins.

Opposition Musavat Party Released Preliminary Report on Azerbaijan's Constitutional Referendum

BAKU. September 28, 2016: Opposition Musavat party has released a preliminary report about the recent constitutional referendum in Azerbaijan increasing the incumbent president's powers. The report details the law violations which undermine the legitimacy of the referendum. Below is the full text of the report:

Musavat Party Central Election Headquarters considers that, the 26 September 2016 referendum was held in the atmosphere of absence of explanation of essence, necessity of suggested amendments and changes by the initiators of the draft without presenting it to the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe for its opinion, lack of free political competition, equal campaigning and observation opportunities, absence of legislation meeting international standards.

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe stated its preliminary opinion with regards to proposal of the Azerbaijani authorities to conduct a referendum and in connection with the issues raised at the referendum.

The preliminary opinion underlines the demonstrations of the Azerbaijani opposition against anti-democratic amendments and its position on reactionary amendments and changes proposed to the referendum.

Voting Ends In Azerbaijan's Constitutional Referendum

BAKU. September 26, 2016 (RFE/RL): Polls have closed in Azerbaijan where voters cast their ballots in a controversial referendum on constitutional amendments.

The Central Election Commission said turnout on September 26 was over 63 percent, surpassing the 25 percent required to validate the referendum.

The referendum includes 29 proposed amendments to the constitution.

Voters in the tightly controlled South Caucasus country didn't have to say "yes" or "no" to the whole package but instead could choose to approve or reject individual amendments.

The vote was monitored by observers from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

As of noon on September 26, the country's Central Election Commission reported that turnout was 30 percent, surpassing the 25 percent required to validate the referendum.

Azerbaijan's Constitutional Changes “at Odds With European Constitutional Heritage”

STRASBOURG. September 21, 2016 ( Constitutional modifications proposed for vote in a referendum in Azerbaijan next Sunday 26 September 2016 are assessed negatively and “at odds with European constitutional heritage” by the Venice Commission in its Preliminary Opinion made public today (Click here for the full report).

The draft modifications concern 29 provisions of the Constitution and concern:
• a number of human rights provisions;
• additional powers of the President, his term of office and introduction of the figure of (appointed) Vice-President.

The opinion criticises the procedure of adoption of the reform, in particular the lack of clarity of the rules set in the Constitution for passing such modifications, the facts that the Parliament was not formally involved in the process, and that the time for public discussions about the reform was insufficient.

As to the modifications of human rights provisions, some of them are generally positive. In particular, the constitutionalisation of the principle of proportionality is welcome, although the proportionality should be checked against the state’s legitimate aims and not expected results. That being said, the proposed limitation clauses raise concerns as regards the freedoms of assembly, association and speech – all limitations in this sphere should be interpreted in the light of the principles derived from the ECtHR case-law.

Azerbaijani Official Rejects Criticism Of Proposed Constitutional Changes

BAKU. September 21, 2016 (RFE/RL): An Azerbaijani official has rejected criticism by Council of Europe experts over proposed changes to Azerbaijan's constitution that will be voted on in a national referendum on September 26 (Click here for Council of Europe's Venice Commission criticism of the constitutional changes - Azeri Report).

Shahin Aliyev, the head of the legal department in Azerbaijan's presidential administration, said the negative opinions by the Council of Europe's Venice Commission were "hasty" and "unfounded."

The Venice Commission said on September 21 that many draft proposals by Baku's government would severely upset the balance of power and give "unprecedented" control to the president.

For example, the extension of the presidential mandate from five to seven years "cannot be justified" given the already very strong position of the president, the commission said.

Aliyev said in a briefing in Baku on September 21 that "we view that hasty conclusion [by the Venice Commission], which has many flaws, as politically driven. They speak to us in a language of ultimatums."

Hundreds Of Azerbaijani Opposition Supporters Rally In Baku

BAKU. September 19, 2016 (RFE/RL): Yesterday, September 18, hundreds of supporters of an Azerbaijani opposition party rallied in the capital, demonstrating against a referendum later this month that seeks to strengthen President Ilham Aliyev’s authority.

Baku city police reported no major problems with the September 18 rally by the Musavat party, which ended after about two hours.

"Azerbaijan now finds itself in a crisis situation due to the incorrect policies of the Aliyev regime. We urgently need reforms in the country," Arif Gadzhili, a top party leader, told the crowd holding Azerbaijani flags and photographs of people believed to be political prisoners.

"However, the Aliyev regime, which has concentrated power in one hand, is conducting policies that are aimed at putting yet more power in that hand," he added.

The rally had been authorized by government officials.

The September 26 referendum has generated sharp criticism from Azerbaijan's beleaguered opposition, as well as civil society activists, journalists, and others.

Heaping on the Caviar Diplomacy

By Matthew Valencia, The Economist

BAKU. September 16, 2016: Some call it the Paris of the Caspian; others purr that it is the caviar-producing region’s Dubai. But on the weekend of June 18th and 19th the comparisons were with Monaco. Baku’s first-ever Formula 1 race took place on a 6km (4-mile) street circuit in the heart of Azerbaijan’s capital. On the longest straight, cars screamed up to 354kph (220mph), whooshing past the imposing, Stalin-era Government House and a marble-paved waterfront promenade. The circuit also incorporated fiendishly tight chicanes in a section that winds picturesquely around the walls of Baku’s UNESCO-protected old town.

The juxtaposition of medieval and modern architecture – the latter itself a mix of communist kitsch and modernist, skyscraping hotels and office blocks, built on hydrocarbon wealth – was stunning. “Wow! It’s all either centuries old or ten minutes old,” enthused a team official. Draped over the side of one of Baku’s half-dozen five-star hotels was a giant banner announcing that “The speed is higher in the land of fire” (as Azerbaijan is known because, some say, of its flaming surface-oil deposits). At night the façades of Baku’s tallest skyscrapers (above) were turned into giant LED-display screens showing figures waving chequered flags. Adding to the sense of unreality were the hundreds of purple-sprayed London taxis on the streets.

The race, truth be told, wasn’t terribly exciting. Having bagged pole position, Nico Rosberg of the Mercedes team led comfortably throughout. It lacked the sense of spectacle of Grand Prix extravaganzas held in Europe and Asia, which can attract crowds of more than 200,000. The children dressed as FI drivers, who paraded past the paddock during the opening ceremony, were waving to largely empty stands. There were plenty of unoccupied seats on the main grandstand. The FI “village” of shops, bars and cafés was often eerily quiet. There were 25,000 paying customers over the three days of practice, qualifying and racing. Azerbaijan may be oil-rich, but the wealth is unevenly spread: few of its 9m people could afford tickets, even when offered a 40% discount. Foreigners came only in dribs and drabs. The event’s boosters say it was Baku’s first shot at hosting; give it time. “Your first Grand Prix is always a prototype,” says Arif Rahimov, the chief race organiser (and son of Azerbaijan’s sports minister).

Azerbaijan’s Constitutional Referendum Creates Crisis of Legitimacy

WASHINGTON. September 16, 2016 ( In a recent letter to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, Helsinki Commission Chairman Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) expressed deep concern about the country’s September 26 constitutional referendum, which proposes changes that would undermine Azerbaijan’s international obligations to protect democracy. The bipartisan letter urging President Aliyev to reconsider holding the referendum and to live up to his government’s commitment to human rights was also signed by Helsinki Commissioner Rep. Joe Pitts (PA-16) and Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-28).

“By lengthening presidential terms and expanding presidential authorities, the proposed constitutional changes are susceptible to abuse that would entrench political authority, making it less responsive to the will of the Azerbaijani people,” the Members of Congress wrote. “We are especially troubled by amendments that would restrict fundamental rights that are vital to open public debate and government accountability.”

Proposed changes to Azerbaijan’s constitution include extending the presidential term from five to seven years; removing the age limits for holding elected office; providing immunity for vice presidents; allowing the president to dissolve the national assembly and call early elections; and reorganizing the presidential line of succession.

Azerbaijan: Do Human Rights Matter? Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Hearing

WASHINGTON. September 15, 2016: Today, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission held a hearing on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan and its implications for U.S. foreign policy(Azeri Report).

Azerbaijani Opposition Holds Rally to Protest Against Constitutional Referendum

BAKU. September 11, 2016: The opposition National Council of Democraatic Forces of Azerbaijan held a protest rally today.  The opposition protesters chanted slogans against the scheduled referendum to increase the powers of the incumbent president of Azerbaijan.  The referendum to change the constitution of Azerbaijan is scheduled for September 26, 2016 (Azeri Report).

Azerbaijan Releases Opposition Activist Ahead Of Key Referendum
BAKU. September 11, 2016 (RFE/RL): Azerbaijani authorities have released an opposition activist from jail, just weeks after his detention prompted international criticism in Europe, North America, and elsewhere.

Colleagues of Natig Jafarli, of the Republican Alternative Movement, said he was released from a Baku jail on September 9. The head of the Republican movement, Ilqar Mammadov, remains in prison.

Jafarli was arrested on August 12, charged with “illegal entrepreneurship” and other charges that prosecutors said stemmed from a grant the Republican movement received from the U.S.-based nongovernmental organization, the National Democratic Institute.

Azerbaijan's Economy Riding in the Breakdown Lane

BAKU. September 8, 2016 ( Just a few months ago, authorities in Azerbaijan spent tens of millions of dollars on hosting a Grand Prix auto race, which critics derided as a vanity project that satisfied the leadership’s craving for international attention, but did not produce any tangible benefits for the general population. Now, there are several indicators that government finances are tight and Azerbaijan’s economy could spin out.
The clearest sign of Azerbaijan’s fiscal vulnerability is the late-August move by commercial banks to suspend the sale of foreign currency, specifically US dollars. In the weeks leading up to the suspension, demand for dollars spiked, thus causing the Azerbaijani currency, the manat, to slide.
The manat’s summer woes fuelled fears that the government would carry out the third devaluation of the national currency since the winter of 2015. In September 2014, the manat traded at 0.78 to the US dollar. The rate on September 7, 2016, was 1.66 per dollar. The Central Bank in late August, prior to the suspension of foreign currency sales, characterized devaluation fears as “groundless.”

Musavat Party's Report About Upcoming Constitutional Referendum in Azerbaijan

BAKU. September 7, 2016: On September 5, the Azerbaijani opposition party Musavat issued a progress report on the campaign for referendum on the constitutional amendments proposed by the Azerbaijani government, reports the Turan News Agency . The document reflects the law violations from the date of the announcement of the referendum on July 26 until August 31 this year. The constitutional referendum is pushed by the Azerbaijani government to extend the presidency term from five to seven years and also increase the executive powers of the Azerbaijani government.

According to the report issued by Musavat, the Azerbaijani government has not yet provided any detailed explanation to the Azerbaijani people about the essence of the referendum. The draft amendment was not submitted to the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe for evaluation. The authorities did not organize any public discussions on TV. In fact, no public debate has been held to discuss the upcoming referendum on the constitutional changes.

The only campaign group “Republic” was established by the opposition, but the Central Election Commission of Azerbaijan refused to register it violating yet another election/referendum law. The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal from the decision of the Central Election Commission. Thus, the attempt to have a public eye on the referendum process has effectively been prevented by the Azerbaijani government.

Baku Court Keeping Natig Jafarli in Jail

BAKU. September 6, 2016: The Turan News Agency reports that the Nasimi District Court of Baku rejected the appeal for bail filed on behalf of Natig Jafarli, one of the leaders of the opposition REAL movement imprisoned on trumped up charges. Natig Jafarli is accused of receiving grants for his nonprofit organization from international organizations in violation of the Azerbaijani laws.

Jafarli was arrested on August 12 this year. The next day the local court put him in pretrial custody for four months.

Investigation Department for Serious Crimes of the General Prosecutor's Office brought charges against him under the Articles 192.1 (illegal entrepreneurship) and 308.2 (abuse of power, resulting in serious consequences) of the Criminal Code.

Turkey-Style Pretext Used to Arrest Critic in Azerbaijan



PARIS. August 24, 2016 ( Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the arrest of Faiq Amirov, the financial director of the leading opposition daily Azadlig, and calls for the withdrawal of the ludicrous charges brought against him.

Amirov, who is also an adviser to the head of the opposition Popular Front Party, was arrested on 20 August and was charged two days later with “inciting religious hatred” and “violating the rights of citizens under the pretext of conducting religious rites.

”The authorities, who have ordered him held provisionally for three months, absurdly claim that he is an “imam” in the movement led by Fethullah Gülen, the US-based Turkish cleric now regarded by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the leading threat to his government.

The claim is based on the alleged discovery of books about the Gülen Movement’s philosophy in the trunk of Amirov’s car at the time of his arrest. The allegation has been greeted with widespread incredulity and well-known independent journalist Khadija Ismayilova commented: “They used to plant arms and drugs to frame critics, but now they have upgraded to planting books.




‘New Wave of Reprisals’ Against Azerbaijani Opposition Party
By Liz Fuller, RFE/RL
PRAGUE. August 22, 2016: Having failed to persuade key defendants in the so-called “Nardaran trial” to implicate Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA) Chairman Ali Karimli in an alleged plot by Islamic extremists to incite mass disturbances with a view to seizing power, the Azerbaijani authorities have now changed tack. Over the past several days, four PFPA activists have been apprehended on a variety of charges; one of them is accused of being a follower of exiled Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen, who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims was behind the botched coup attempt last month.

According to Azerbaijani presidential administration deputy head Novruz Mamedov, several Azerbaijani opposition parties have links to Gulen’s Hizmet movement. He warned that all its supporters in Azerbaijan will be identified.

The PFPA , together with the Musavat Party, is one of Azerbaijan’s longest-established opposition parties -- it is the successor organization of the Azerbaijani Popular Front established in 1989 -- and one of very few ever to have won parliamentary representation. Karimli, 50, who has served as party chairman since 2000, was elected to parliament in 1995 and 2000.

Karimli has for years been denied a passport for travel abroad, and the Justice Ministry declined late last year to recognize as legal his reelection as PFPA chairman.

Azerbaijani Activists Arrested in Run Up to Referendum on Expanding Presidential Powers

OSLO. August 17, 2016 ( Several Azerbaijani activists including; Natig Jafarli, Elshan Gasimov, Togrul Ismayiıov, Bakhtiyar Hajiyev, and Elgiz Qahreman have been arrested in the run up to a national referendum on expanding presidential powers. Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) calls for the authorities in Azerbaijan to cease intimidating opposition and dissent during the referendum period. Additionally, we encourage the Council of Europe to hold Azerbaijan to its standards by guaranteeing the right to participate in public life during the referendum period, including the rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

The proposed amendments would prolong the presidential term from five to seven years and introduce the posts of first vice president and vice president. Other proposed changes are related to restrictions in the right to freedom of assembly, which would be contingent on "public order and morality"; and the right to property, which could be restricted in the interests of "social justice and effective land use.” In addition, Azerbaijani citizenship could be withdrawn "in accordance with the law." The referendum will be held on 26 September 2016.

“Everyone should be allowed to freely and safely express their opinion during a campaign – the right to participate in public life includes disagreeing with the government’s proposal. A popular referendum, in particular, should be an opportunity for true public debate on the future of the State’s institutions. Instead, we fear that we are now seeing the beginning of a new wave in the crackdown on civil society and opposition in direct relation to the referendum.” commented Ane Bonde, HRHF’s Regional Manager, Eastern Europe and Caucasus.

Opposition Activist Natig Jafarli Accused of Receiving a NED Grant

BAKU. August 15, 2016: Attorney General's Office o Azerbaijan made a statement to the local press explaining the charges against the recently arrested opposition activist Natig Jafarli. Natig Jafarli, executive secretary of the opposition REAL Movement, has been arrested on August 12 this year. The local court in Baku quickly sentenced him to four months of pretrial detention under the charge of illegal entrepreneurship. Today, the Attorney General's Office disclosed that the basis for Natig Jafarli's arrest was his receiving a grant from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the US based nonprofit organization funded by the US Congress, in the amount of $94,565, reported the Turan News Agency. The Attorney General's Office stated that Natig Jafarli received the NED grant without proper registration of his local nonprofit organization and that "the grant has been obtained for the purpose of receiving personal benefits and with the help of Ilgar Mamedov, the leader of REAL." The National Endowment for Democracy has not yet issued a statement clarifying its position regarding Natig Jafarli's arrest and the charges related to the NED grant to Natig Jafarli's organization (Azeri Report).

Presidents of Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, Meet, with Armenia in Background

By Joshua Kucera,

BAKU. August 10, 2016: The presidents of Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan met in Baku this week, for the first time in this trilateral format, part of a week of heavy diplomatic activity that highlighted the shifting international relations around the South Caucasus.

The Baku meeting took place on Monday, and was taken on the initiative of Azerbaijan. The top agenda item was a railroad project that could connect Russia and Eastern Europe to the Persian Gulf.

That project would bring not only economic benefits to the three countries, but could be a geostrategic boon for Azerbaijan, as well, said Zaur Shiriyev, a Baku-based political analyst. He noted that this project would compete with another Russia-initiated North-South railroad project, that would go from Russia through Abkhazia, Georgia, and Armenia.

Presidents Of Azerbaijan, Iran, And Russia Meet In Baku

BAKU. August 8, 2016 (RFE/RL): Russian President Vladimir Putin says he's eager to discuss new energy and transportation projects in the Caspian Sea region with his counterparts from Azerbaijan and Iran.

Putin held separate talks on August 8 with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Iranian President Hassan Rohani before all three leaders get together in Baku later.

Putin told Aliyev that the trilateral talks would allow the three countries to implement new projects in the Caspian Sea, including in the energy and transport sectors.

At a separate meeting with Rohani, Putin expressed satisfaction with developments of bilateral economic ties between Moscow and Tehran.

Corruption on the Caspian: Fueling Aliyev’s Regime

By Rebeka Foley, Researcher, Freedom in the World,

An EU-backed energy project that foresees the construction of a pipeline from Azerbaijan to Europe via Turkey is likely to shower Baku’s repressive leadership with new income.

The recent coup attempt in Turkey has raised concerns that political instability in the increasingly authoritarian country could jeopardize strategic energy projects including the Southern Gas Corridor, a European Union (EU) plan to import natural gas from the Caspian Sea region. However, repressive conditions in Azerbaijan are also cause for alarm. Given that past growth in Azerbaijan’s energy sector has fueled government corruption and related crackdowns on civil liberties, a boost in revenue and international status from the new pipeline route could worsen the country’s already tarnished human rights record—and thereby imperil its long-term reliability as a supplier.

Even as it nurtures an opaque business environment and starves the non-oil sector of growth and healthy investment, Azerbaijan’s energy wealth has enabled the corrupt leadership to entrench itself in power by tightening control over the media and other institutions.

Civil society groups have tracked the country’s authoritarian drift for many years, pointing to evidence of election rigging, arbitrary detentions, and violence against the opposition. But prominent investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova recently argued that matters grew steadily worse because the Azerbaijani government did not “encounter much criticism from democratic countries.” For example, President George W. Bush spoke of Azerbaijan as “a modern Muslim country that is able to provide for its citizens, that understands that democracy is the wave of the future.” In 2010, Hillary Clinton highlighted restrictions on civil society, but insisted, “We believe that there has been a tremendous amount of progress in Azerbaijan.”

Repression has escalated sharply over the past three years.

Azerbaijani TV Station Closed Over 'Interview' with Fetullah Gulen

BAKU. July 21, 2016 (RFE/RL): A private Azerbaijani television station has been taken off the air and accused of damaging Baku's "strategic" links with Turkey after announcing it would broadcast an interview with U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Turkey's government blames Gulen for orchestrating last weekend's failed military coup, in which hundreds died and more than 1,500 more were injured when troops tried to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Azerbaijan's National Television and Radio Council (NTRC) on July 18 announced on its website that it was temporarily suspending the operations of private-owned ANS television while also filing legal action to revoke the station's license.

"To avert provocations aimed at disrupting strategic relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey, and to prevent overt terrorist propaganda … it has been decided to suspend the operations of ANS television channel for one month," said a July 18 statement posted on the council's website.

Azerbaijan Takes Over Private University Linked To Turkish Cleric Fetullah Gulen

BAKU. July 21, 2016 (RFE/RL): Azerbaijan's government has taken over a private university widely linked with controversial Turkish cleric Fetullah Gulen, and put it under the control of a school owned by the state oil company. Students at the Qafqaz University in Baku were left wondering what was happening to their institution. -0-

Azerbaijan's “Celebrity” Political Prisoners Get Freedom First, Activists Say

By Durna Safarova,

BAKU. July 13, 2016: Some Azerbaijani activists claim that international rights watchdogs, such as Amnesty International, have created a two-tier system for political prisoners that effectively hinders less prominent government critics’ chances for release from prison.
“We see they are interested in the cases of star political prisoners,” commented attorney Yalchin Imanov, who represents jailed Azerbaijani Islamic Party Chairperson Movsum Samadov and opposition parliamentarian Asif Yusifli, among other imprisoned government critics.
“As a result,” he charged, “except for very few cases, the majority of illegal arrests, cases of unfairly punished people are overlooked; especially, opposition parties’ members and religious activists are being forgotten by international organizations.”
The London-based Amnesty International, which compiles what many Azerbaijanis see as the most important list of alleged victims of judicial abuses, lists only 14 prisoners of conscience for Azerbaijan: bloggers and social-media activists Abdul Abilov and Elvin Karimov; blogger Rashad Ramazanov; opposition journalist Seymur Haziyev; opposition politicians Fuad Gahramanli, Faraj Karimov and Ilgar Mammadov; opposition youth activists Elvin Abdullayev and Murad Adlilov; political activist Ilkin Rustamzade; Rovshan Zahidov and Rufat Zahidov, relatives of an opposition journalist; and leftist activists Giyas Ibrahimov and Bayram Mammadov, jailed for spraying graffiti on a statue of the late President Heydar Aliyev.

Unholy Alliance: Kleptocratic Authoritarians and their Western Enablers

By Carl Gershman,

WASHINGTON. July 6, 2016: It is widely understood that corruption is a pervasive problem in many societies and undermines public confidence in the political system and government institutions. The scourge of corruption is generally viewed as a symptom of a larger problem of the failure of judicial, media, and other institutions of accountability in new or developing democracies. In kleptocracies, which is the term used to designate “government by thieves,” corruption is the lifeblood of the system and therefore the heart of the problem.

Karen Dawisha, the author of Putin’s Kleptocracy and one of the foremost experts on this issue, makes the observation that “in kleptocracies risk is nationalized and rewards are privatized.” Participation in the spoils of kleptocracy is organized and controlled by top political elites, who raid state resources with immunity and impunity. Whistleblowers, investigative journalists, and others who seek to expose corrupt practices become targets of law enforcement and are treated as enemies of the state.

By denying space for moderate political voices that offer possible alternatives to existing policies and leaders, kleptocracies open the way for extremists. Altay Goyushov, an Azerbaijani scholar and a former Reagan-Fascell Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, has observed that by repressing peaceful activists and reformers in Azerbaijan, the kleptocratic regime in Baku “argues that it is taking steps to ensure stability. They have this exactly wrong. By eliminating moderate voices in society, Azerbaijan’s leaders set the stage for an anti-Western environment that will serve as a breeding ground for extremists, who pose a grave security threat to both the region and the West.”

Hit by Oil Price Drop Azeri SOCAR tightens screws, Leases Out its DC Mansion

WASHINGTON. June 24, 2016 (Turan)Amid oil price slump Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR has recently decided to limit its operations in the US, TURAN's Washington correspondent A. Raufoglu was informed by several sources knowledgeable on the matter.


SOCAR, once a lavish spender on just about anything from bizarre lobbying projects to sponsoring international contests, has already closed its several offices abroad such as the ones in Germany, Belgium and Switzerland, as the company announced in May.

The American subsidiary of SOCAR has been updating its website until recently, albeit its staffers haven't been seen around during the past few months. A surprise sign appeared in front of SOCAR's DuPont Circle office building early this week and reads "Office space for lease" referring to a real estate company called "Summit."

The company confirmed its involvement in leasing out SOCAR's building apartments without providing any further details when reached over the phone.

SOCAR America purchased a 23,000-square-foot historic building in DuPont Circle in 2012. The mansion located on 18th street NW, previously served as home for Freedom House, a human rights watchdog that lists Azerbaijan among the word’s top “not free” countries.

Beyond Balcony-Rental Boom, Formula One Race Offers Few Rewards For Azerbaijanis

By Charles Recknagel and Arzu Geybullayeva, RFE/RL

BAKU. June 17, 2016: No matter who wins the Formula One Grand Prix in Baku this weekend, Vahid Veliyev stands to make some money: He is renting out his balcony, which overlooks the course of the first-ever F1 race to be held in Azerbaijan.

The asking price: $200 a day, with a discount if a spectator leases the small outdoor space for all three days of the June 17-19 event.

"That will include a table on the balcony, as well as tea with sweets," says Veliyev, who put an ad in the paper after the government urged Baku residents with balconies to rent them out for the race.

The chance to earn extra income from a balcony overlooking the circuit is one of the few ways any of the city's residents stand to benefit from Baku's latest effort to become a global sports and entertainment center. The event, which culminates with the Grand Prix race on June 19, is taking place as the country's economy has slowed to a crawl due to the low price of oil, the main source of revenue.

Khadija Ismayilova: Those Shaking Hands with Dictators Responsible for Crackdown in Azerbaijan

BAKU. June 14, 2016 ( The government of Azerbaijan released investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova from prison on May 25—583 days after she was jailed on trumped-up charges. She remains confined to Baku, the capital, but has resumed her reporting on corruption involving the family of President Ilham Aliyev. She spoke with Freedom House by telephone.


Freedom House: Why do you think the authorities targeted you for arrest?

Ismayilova: The government wanted to arrest me because it wanted to silence me, to stop my investigations. They wanted to prevent me from advocating for human rights and telling the truth. They put a lot of effort into this venture and brought several cases under different parts of the criminal code.

They finally had to release me because, in all the cases and whatever the charges, it was clear from the beginning that the accusations were false and entirely political. In the last case, the charges were chosen specifically because of the crimes I was actually reporting and writing about, crimes in which my reporting showed involvement by the government. They chose these particular parts of the criminal code—alleging embezzlement and tax evasion—because these were their crimes.

Other activists were arrested at about the same time as you, in December 2014. What was making the government nervous? Why did the government act at that particular time?

It was a long process that started long before the actual crackdown; it came step by step. They spent a lot of money on lobbying, and they put a lot of effort into silencing media, and then decided on a major crackdown to eliminate civil society on an institutional level. 


Azerbaijan in International Media

"Jews Object to Hannukah Party at Trump Hotel," by Julie Zauzmer, The Washington Post, Dec. 6, 2016

"This Activist is Set to Spend 10 Years in Jail After Spray Painting a Statue," by Hayes Brown, Buzz Feed News, Oct. 26, 2016

"It's time for the United States to act on Azerbaijan," by David J. Kramer, and Richard Kauzlarich, The Washington Post, September 8, 2016

"Azerbaijan Imrpisoned Me. Pharrell Williams and Others Should Stop Helping My Jailers," by Khadija Ismayil, The Washington Post, June 17, 2016

"Lawmakers Turned Over Gifts After Secretly Funded Trip to Azerbaijan," by Megan R. Wilson, The Hill, June 16, 2016

"Khadija Ismayilova's Victory for Human Rights," The Washington Post, May 31, 2016

"The Global Magnitsky Act Will Help Protect Human Rights Activists Worldwide," The Washington Post, May 2, 2016

"In Azerbaijan, A Declaration of War Against Independent Journalism, " The Washington Post, April 25, 2016

"BP's Azerbaijan Push Comes at a Cost," by R. Whelan and S. Kent, The Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2016

"Don't let Azerbaijan use political prisoners as props," by Khadija Ismayilova, The Washington Post, March 31, 2016

"IMF and World Bank Move to Forestall Oil-Led Defaults," by J. Farchy and S. Donnan, Financial Times, Jan. 27, 2016

"Azerbaijan Leader Enters Uncharted Territory..." by Jack Farchy, Financial Times, Jan.25, 2016

It's Time to Hold the Azerbaijan Regime Accountable," by Gulnara Akhundova, Huffington Post, Jan. 8, 2016

"No, this is the truth about Azerbaijan's repression," The Washington Post, Sep. 25, 2015

"Dogged reporting in Azerbaijan landed a U.S.-trained journalist in prison," by D. Priest, A. Komuves, C. Mabeus, The Washington Post, Sep. 12, 2015

"Azerbaijani Reporter Sentenced to More than 7 Years after Farcical Trial," The Washington Post, Sep. 2, 2015

"Is America Forgetting American Values," by Jeffrey Gedmin and Gary Schmitt, CNN, Aug. 28, 2015

"Azerbaijan's Injustice," The Washington Post, August 16, 2015

"Azerbaijan's State-Owned Oil Company Signs DC Firms," by Megan R. Wilson, The Hill, Aug. 14, 2015

"Lady Gaga and Members of Congress Accept the Paychecks of a Tyrant," the Washington Post, Aug. 7, 2015

"Donald Trump is doing business with a controversial Azerbaijani oligarch," by Russ Choma, Mother Jones, July 29, 2015

"Foreign Lobbyist Gets Free Platform at Georgtown University, Atlantic Council," by Till Bruckner, Huffington Post, June 25, 2015

"Baku, Azerbaijan: 10 of the city's wierdest tourist atractions," The Telegraph, June 12, 2015

"Letter from Azerbaijan Jail: Khadija Ismayilova Speaks Out," The New York Times, June 11, 2015

"Baku 2015's Gleaming Stadiums a Facade Covering Corupt Azerbaijan Regime," by Idrak Abbasov, The Guardian, June 11, 2015

"Azerbaijan Bans Guardian From Reporting on Baku European Games," by Shaun Waker, The Guardian, June 11, 2015

"Intolerance and Oppression Overshadow Azerbajan's Glamorous European Games," by Adam LeBor, Newsweek, June 4, 2015

"Azerbaijan's Price for Hosting First European Games," by Rayhan Demytrie, BBC News, June 4, 2015

"To Baku and Back with Freebies," The New York Times, May 25, 2015

"Big Congressional Trip to Azerbaijan was Secretly Paid For By Azerbaijan," by Ben Mathis-Lilley,, May 13, 2015

"Report: U.S. Lawmakers Had Trip Funded by Azerbaijan," S. Higham, S. Rich, A. Crites and K. Park, The Washington Post, May 13, 2015

"Aliyev's Party," The Economist, May 2, 2015

"Jailed Azerbaijani Journalist, Khadija Ismayilova, to be Honored by PEN," by David M. Herszenhorn, The New York Times, April 15, 2015

"The Country That Diminishes the Olympic Flame," The Washington Post, April 15, 2015

"Azerbaijan Bars Entry to a Georgian Human Rights Worker," by David M. Hersenzorn, The New York Times, March 31, 2015

"Jailed Without Trial in Azerbaijan," The Washington Post, March 1, 2015

"BOA Admits Azerbaijan Pays for British Team to Compete in European Games," by Owen Gibson, The Guardian, February 25, 2015

"Trapped in Baku" by Michael Weiss, Foreign Policy, Feb. 11, 2015

"Washington Times hearts Azerbaijan" by Erik Wemple, Washington Post, Jan 29, 2015

"Azerbaijan: Land of Fire? It is for Some" by Naomi Westland, Huffington Post, Jan. 13, 2015

"Tony Blair Does PR for Repressive Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan Autocracies," by Casey Michel, New Republic, Jan. 7, 2015

"Ten Days in the Life of Ilham Aliyev, President of Absurdistan," by Till Bruckner, Huffington Post, Jan. 4, 2015

"A Thuggish Regime Challenges the US," by David J. Kramer, The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 4, 2015

"The 'Broken Window' Approach to International Relations," by Jeffrey Gedmin, The Washington Post, Dec. 31, 2014

"Who is Shushing State on Azerbaijan's Detention of Khadija Ismayilova," by Till Bruckner, Huffington Post, Dec. 30, 2014

"Azerbaijan Imprisons an Investigative Journalist," The Washington Post, Dec. 11, 2014

"Azerbaijan Jails Reporter Who Angered Top Officials," by D. Herszenhorn, The New York Times, Dec. 5, 2014

"Duke of York to Meet Azeri Despot Ilham Aliyev for 12th Time," by Jim Armitage, The Independent, Nov. 13, 2014

"Azerbaijan Risks New Armenia Conflict as Chopper Downed," by Z. Agayev and S. Khojoyan, Bloomberg News, Nov. 12, 2014

"Azerbaijan's Human Rights are On a Kinfe Edge," by Thorbjorn Jagland, The Guardian, Nov. 3, 2014

"No Country for Human Rights: Azerbaijan's Increasingly Intolerant Regime," by Gunay Ismayilova and Samir Kazimli, The New York Times, Oct. 22, 2014

"Time for Sanctions on Baku," by David J. Kramer and Richard Kauzlarich, The American Interest, Oct. 2, 2014

"Azerbaijan and Think Tanks," The New York Times, Sep. 6, 2014

"'The Hardest Part is I Can't See You' - Azeri Activist's Prison Letter to Jailed Husband," RFE/RL, Aug. 20, 2014

"Azerbaijan Prosecutes a Prominent Human Rights Defender on Absurd Charges," The Washington Post, Aug. 13, 2014

"Prominent Activist Charged With Treason in Azerbaijan," by Neil MacFarquhar, The New York Times, July 31, 2014

"Lawmakers' Trips to Baku Conference Raise Ethics Questions," by Will Tucker and Lise Olsen, Houston Chronicle, Jul. 26, 2014

"Azerbaijan Counts Human Cost of Architecture," by Shahin Abbasov, The Guardian, July 14, 2014

"British MPs Taken on 'Caviar Trail' By Lobbyists Close to Azerbaijan's Coprrupt Dictatorship," by Jon Stone,, June 20, 2014

"Azerbaijan and Council of Europe: Do As We Say, Not As We Do," by G.E., The Economist, May 13, 2014

"Azerbaijan's Sponsorship of Atletico Proves Spectacular Success," by Owen Gibson, The Guardian, May 1, 2014

"Vugar Gashimov, Grandmaster of Chess, Dies at 27," by D. L. McClain, The New York Times, Jan. 12, 2014


Azerbaijan in International Reports

Oct. 20, 2016: Human Rights Watch Report: Azerbaijan's Continued Crackdown on Critics

Sep. 20, 2016: Council of Europe Venice Commission's Preliminary Opinion on Constitutional Changes in Azerbaijan

Sep. 9, 2015: European Parliament Resolution on Human Rights Situation in Azerbaijan

July 30, 2015: One Year of Unprecedented Repressions in Azerbaijan

June 24, 2015: PACE Resolution on the "Functioning of Democratic Institutions in Azerbaijan"

December 21, 2014: "Statement about Critically Deteriorating Conditions of Civil Society in Azerbaijan" - World Movement for Democracy

December 10, 2013: The Global Witness Report on Corruption in Azerbaijan's Oil Industry - "Azerbaijan Anonymous"

November 5, 2013 - European Stability Intiative Report on Azerbaijan's Presidential Elections - "Disgraced: Azerbaijan and the End of Election Monitoring as We Know It"

September 1, 2013 - HRW Report - "Tightening the Screws: "Azerbaijan's Crackdown on Civil Society and Dissent"

May 14, 2013 - Report of Civil Rights Defenders, Sweden based international human rights organization, on Human Rights Defenders in Azerbaijan

April 2013 - US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights in Azerbaijan

April 3, 2013 - ICIJ Report - Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze

January 2013 - Annual Report on Human Rights Watch - Chapter on Azerbaijan

December 2012 - Freedom House - Nations in Transit - Azerbaijan Country Report

October 29, 2012 - Amnesty International Report "Azerbaijan: Human Rights Abuses Placed Under the E-Spotlight"

October 25, 2012 - "The Struggle for Internet Freedom in Azerbaijan," by Vugar Gojayev

September 27, 2012 - Report on "Local and Regional Democracy in Azerbaijan," The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Council of Europe

May 24, 2012 - "Caviar Diplomacy: How Azerbaijan Silenced the Council of Europe. Part 1" - European Stability Initiative

May 9, 2012 - "Spotlight on Azerbaijan" - Foreign Policy Centre's Report on Human Rights Record of Azerbaijan

April 18, 2012 - EU Parliament's Resolution on EU-Azerbaijan Association Agreement

April 18, 2012 - EU Parliament's Resolution on EU-Armenia Association Agreement

April 2, 2012 - Sandie Shaw Calls on Azerbaijani Government to Stop Harassing Journalists - Amnesty International Report

February 29, 2012 - "They took everything from me" Human Rights Watch Report on Forcible Evictions In Azerbaijan

February 20, 2012 - The Amnesty International Briefing on Human Rights In Azerbaijan

October 4, 2011 - Norwegian Helsinki Committee's Report on Political Prisoners In Azerbaijan

September 23, 2011 - Human Rights Watch Letter to Azerbaijani Minister of Justice On Disbarred Lawyers

April 12, 2013 - IPGA Statement on Political 2012-2013 Political Persecutions in Azerbaijan

April 8, 2011 - US State Department's Human Rights Report on Azerbaijan for 2010

March 7, 2011 - Amensty International: Azerbaijan Must Halt Crackdown On Protest Organizers

February 15, 2011 - CPJ Report "Attacks on the Press 2010: Azerbaijan"

January 27, 2011 - ODIHR/OSCE Final Report on Azerbaijani Parliamentary Elections of Nov. 2010

November 8, 2010: ODIHR/OSCE Preliminary Statement on Azerbaijan's Parliamentary Elections

October 30, 2010: ODIHR/OSCE Second Interim Report on Azerbaijani Elections

October 26, 2010: HRW Report - Azerbaijan: Beaten, Blacklisted and Behind Bars

October 21, 2010: Azerbaijan: Free Expression Under Attack

September 2010 - Article 19 Report - Living As Dissidents: Freedom of Expression In Azerbaijan

September 3, 2010 - International Crisis Group Report: "Azerbaijan: Vulnerable Stability"

March 2010 - Resource Nationalism Trends In Azerbaijan - PETROSAM Program of Reasearch Council of Norway

March 11, 2010 - U.S. State Department's 2009 Report on Azerbaijan

February 24, 2010 - Global Integrity Report on Corruption in Azerbaijan

February 16, 2010 - NHC Report: "Nakhchivan: Azerbaijan's Dark Island"


Linked Info

"The Heydar Ailyev Era Ends in Azerbaijan..." by Richard Kauzlarich,

"Your Government May Be Corrupt, But Is It Azerbaijan-Corrupt?" - June 11, 2014

"Azerbaijan's photographers: Capturing the raw truth" by R. Jafarov and R. Vincent, Index on Censorship, October 11, 2013

Aliyev's Cultural Spending Spree - by Emma, - May 16, 2013

OCCRP Names Aliyev "Person of the Year" - Dec. 31, 2012

"Sudden, Violent Demonstration Erupts In Northern Azerbaijan," by Karl Rahder, FPB, March 2, 2012

"Azerbaijan: Early 20th Century Satirical Magazine Offers Edgy Exploration of Eurasia,", Nov. 24, 2011

US Amb. Ross Wilson's Speech at the Atlantic Council Conference On Europian Energy - June 1, 2011

"Azerbaijan: Prominent Lawyer Disbarred, Youth Activist Arrested," by Karl Rahder, FPB, Feb. 6, 2011

"Azerbaijan Backtracks in Ukranian Organ Transplant Investigation,", Dec. 3, 2010

"More Troubles In Baku, Local Press Reports On "Magic Tree"," by Karl Rahder, FPB, June 20, 2010

"Azerbaijan Grapples With New Media Freedom," by Karl Rahder, ISN, June 7, 2010

"A Journalism (r)evolution in Azerbaijan," by Mark Briggs, Lost Remote, May 24, 2010

"IMF: The Party Is Over For Azerbaijan," by Shahin Abbasov, Eurasianet. org, May 24, 2010

"Alienating Azerbaijan?" by Karl Rahder, International Relations and Security Network, Apr. 27, 2010

"Colors and Flowers... and Soviet Spoils," by Ben Tanosborn, April 27, 2010

"The U.S. and the Persecution of Azerbaijan's Bloggers," by Joshua Kucera, trueslant.comm Nov. 11, 2009

"Story of a Father and Son," Frontline Club, Sep 28, 2009

"Hooligans?," RSF about arrested youth activists in Azerbaijan, July 11, 2009

"I Rule Here and Blind Democrats in Europe," by Ilgar Mammadov, REAL, June 27, 2009

Azerbaijan Marks Anniversary Of Its First Republic - Frontline Club, May 29, 2009

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely - by Farid Guliyev,, April 16, 2009

So Much For Azerbaijani Democracy - by Michael J. Totten, Commentary Magazine, Oct. 21, 2008

Azerbaijan: Election Day Proves A Snooze - by Mina Muradova, Eurasia Insight, Oct. 15, 2008

Finding Elmar's Killers. Azerbaijan Special Report - by Nina Ognianova, CPJ, Sep. 16, 2008

Azerbaijani Opposition Mulls Presidential Election Boycott - by Liz Fuller

Naxcivan: More Tales From Azerbaijan's North Korea

It's National Press Day in Azerbaijan, But There's Little Cause For Celebration



October 9, 2015: David Kramer Calls for Targeted Sanctions Against Azerbaijan Government Officials

June 30, 2015: Flacking for Despots: Inside Azerbaijan's Lobbying in U.S.

June 15, 2015: Baku European Games Discussed at Last Week Tonight John Oliver

June 15, 2015: "We will hold you responsible," Bono sends video message to Ilham Aliyev

June 10, 2015: RFE/RL Discussion: The Real Price of Azerbaijan's European Games

May 5, 2015: A Dissident's Life: Story of Ramis Yunus

April 22, 2015: "Azerbaijan Locks Up Critics Ahead of European Games" HRW video-report

December 12, 2014: AZAD Event "Time to Get Tough With Baku: Can US Sanctions Help Azerbaijani Dissidents?"

November 12, 2014: Gerald Knaus Presentation on Azerbaijani Government's Lobbying Efforts with Council of Europe

November 10, 2014: Civic Solidarity Platform: No More Business as Usual for Azerbaijan

May 16, 2014: Radio Azadliq Interview with U.S. Amb. to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar: "Who Will Stand up for Azerbaijan's Independence?"

November 22, 2013 - AZAD Event: "The Quest for Democracy in Azerbaijan: Conversation with Jamil Hasanli"

November 7, 2013 - AZAD Event: "The Perils of Content with Azerbaijan: Is Status-Quo Sustainable for the West's Favorite 'Gas Station'?"

October 27, 2013 - National Council's Protest Rally in Baku

October 16, 2013 - U.S. Investor Jailed After Whistleblowing on Corrupt Business Deals With Azerbaijan

September 30, 2013 - "Concernus Theatricus": Azeri Youth TV Pokes US Ambassador Morningstar

July 31, 2013 - House Demolition in Khutor, Baku

July 2, 2013 - President Ilham Aliyev's speech in front of the Azerbaijani Police Forces

June 13, 2013: Harlem Shake Protest in Front of Azerbaijani Embassy in London

March 29, 2013 - Battle to Save Homes from Demolition in Baku

January 24, 2013 - Ismayilli Protests Continue

January 23, 2013 - Popular Uprising in Ismayilli

January 23, 2013 - Amazing Azerbaijan! Short Film

January 12, 2013 - Baku Protests Against Soldier Jeyhun Gubadov's Death

December 20, 2012 - British MP Helen Goodman Attacks Human Rights Record of Azerbaijan

December 19, 2012 - AZAD Forum "Azerbaijan's Untapped Potential for the West: Engaging Azerbaijani Society as a US Ally"

December 10, 2012 - Azeri Police Arrests... Government Supporter at Opposition Rally

December 10, 2012 - Public Chamber's Protest Action in Downtown Baku

October 20, 2012 - Opposition Protesters Demand Dissolution of Azerbaijani Parliament

October 1, 2012 - Million Dollar Bribe for a Parliamentary Seat: Secret Cam Recording with English Subtitles

More Videos...


Photo Essay on Heydar Aliyev's Cult of Personality in Azerbaijan - February 19, 2013

Popular Uprising in Ismayilli - January 23, 2013

Public Chamber's Rally - April 22, 2012

Youth Protest Rally in Bayil - March 12, 2012

Anti-French Protests In Baku - January 25, 2012

Youth Protests in Downtown Baku - December 3, 2011

Rally of the Public Chamber of the Azeri Opposition - June 19, 2011

Azeri Diaspora Rallies For Demoracy In Stockholm, Sweden - June 18, 2011

Public Champer Marks the Republic Day - May 28, 2011

April 17 Rally of Azeri Opposition - April 17, 2011

Azeri Diaspora Rallies For Democracy in Den Haag - April 6, 2011

Azeri Diaspora Rallies For Democracy in Strasbourg - April 2, 2011

Rally of Azerbaijani Democratic Forces - April 2, 2011

Free Azerbaijan Rally of AZAD - March 19, 2011

Musavat Rally Against Aliyev Regime - March 12, 2011

Youth Protests Against Aliyev Regime - March 11, 2011

Democratic Forces of Azerbaijan Commemorated M.A. Rasulzade - January 31, 2011

Hijab Protest In Nardaran - December 18, 2010

Parliamentary Elections In Azerbaijan - November 7, 2010

Azeri Diaspora In Netherlands Protested Against Ilham Aliyev's Regime - November 5, 2010

PFPA and Musavat's Joint Rally In Baku - July 31, 2010

Azeri Opposition's Protest Action In Baku - July 3, 2010

Azadlig Bloc Held "Unauthorized" Rally In Baku - June 19, 2010

Musavat and Union for Democracy Held "Unauthorized" Rally In Baku - June 12, 2010

Azadlig Bloc's "Unauthorized" Rally In Baku - June 5, 2010

International Act of Protest for Eynulla Fatullayev In Front of Azeri Embassy - June 3, 2010

Azadlig Bloc's Rally In Novkhani - May 28, 2010

Protest of Azadlig Bloc in Baku - May 15, 2010

Protest of Azadlig bloc in Baku - April 26, 2010

Surprise Youth Protest Action in Baku - Nov. 22, 2009

U.S. Azeris Commemorate Oil Academy Shooting Victims - May 10, 2009

Student Protests In Baku - May 10, 2009

Mirza Sakit Released From Jail - April 9, 2009

Azeris Marked Khojali Massacre In Front of Armenian Embassy - February 25, 2009

AZAD Holds Protest Rally In New York Against Unlimited Presidency in Azebaijan - January 9, 2009

AZAD Holds Protest Rally in Washington DC Against Unlimited Presidency in Azerbaijan - Dec. 30, 2008

Protests Against Constitutional Changes in Azerbaijan - Dec. 24, 2008

Ganja Celebrates Ilham Aliyev's Birthday - Dec. 24, 2008

Jailed Azeri Journalists, Brothers Ganimat and Sakit Zahidov at Their Fathers Funeral

Sacrifice Holiday in Azerbaijan - December 8, 2008

Military Parade in Baku - June 26, 2008