Azerbaijan opposition

Already for the third time, yesterday a group of young people held protest action in front of Azerbaijan Popular Front Party Chairman Ali Karimli’s house. Action so-called participants accused Karimli in cooperation with radical Islamic forces, Al-Qaeda, with Western powers and demonstrated insult actions for his personality. This so called protest action takes place in the background of Azerbaijan’s major oppositional Public Chamber activism for radical democratic changes in Azerbaijan. Oppositional Public Chamber already held a April 2-nd rally and prepares to hold another rally on 17 April at 16.00.
The rallies organized by the oppositional Public Chamber has very much concerned the incumbent regime in Azerbaijan and they selected a way of insult and radical critics toward oppositional leaders.
Mr. Ali Karimli has been facing insults since 2000 and nowadays the framework of the insult bent all the boundaries toward him. Witnesses say, the fabricated made up protest action is ruled by the youth organization of the ruling party (Yeni Azerbaijani Party). Some politically awkward figures were noticed among the protesters, who are said to be assistant to Mr. Ali Ahmadov, head of the ruling party’s administration and also an MP, brother of Mr. Siyavush Novruzov, deputy of Mr. Ali Ahmadov and an MP, assistants and relatives of some University rectors, ministers and other governmental officials. Mr. Ali Karimli is believed that the ill-inspired protest actions are coordinated by the ruling party. Interesting fact is that the police always comes to disperse the protesters at the last moment, whereas, the oppositional minded youth groups cannot even come some hundred meters closer to his house for support action.

Musavat party and its leader Mr. Isa Gambar is also targeted by the same centre. Several times youth groups came to its headquarter and also insulted Mr. Isa Gambar and the party of Musavat. Isa Gambar and Ali Karimli are being accused in everything bad that happens locally and internationally as from taking money from Al Qaeda to Western Powers. It is interesting fact that Al Qaeda and Western powers are paralleled. Today, Musavat Party headquarter was also targeted  as if by the displaced persons and refugees.

International community should react accordingly and do everything to defend the opposition in Azerbaijan.

Sincerely,

Razi Nurullayev
Deputy-chairman, Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan
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Sincerely,

Razi Nurullayev
Chairman, “REGION” International Analytical Center (RIAC)
Coordinator, Civil Society Coalition of Azerbaijani NGOs

Address: Baku, Binagadi district, 30/12 Z.Bunyadov, bld. 5A, apt.02
Tel: (+994 12) 436 18 40
Mobile: (+994 55) 210 2520
E-mail: razi_nurullayev@yahoo.co.uk
http://civil-soc.org/blog
http://blog.razinurullayev.com
http://www.facebook.com/razi.nurullayev
http://www.facebook.com/razinur (My Facebook page)

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Khodorkovsky

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Russia has problem

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
MOSCOW – Agence France-Presse

Russia’s latest census has revealed a bleak demographic trend of people fleeing ever shrinking towns and villages for urban centers, as the population continues to decline alarmingly, experts said.

The first results of Russia’s 2010 census have shown that the country’s population has shrunk by another 2.2 million people since 2002 and is now at 142.9 million. While experts called the results predictable, they also described the trend of systematic redistribution of people around the two largest cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg as very worrying.

“The number of villages with no population has grown” from 13,000 to 19,400 in the past eight years, said the head of Russia’s state statistics office Rosstat, Alexander Surinov. He said that 36,200 villages had a population of less than 10 people, a figure that has also grown since the last census. “This is not a very good trend” despite government pledges to develop rural villages, he said.

Not only villages but small and medium towns are a dying phenomenon according to the census, as people flee depressed single-industry towns where no alternative was created after local Soviet-era factories had to close down.

Monotowns, as the government has termed them, emerged as a problem especially during the latest economic crisis, when inefficient Soviet industries were unable to pay salaries and laid off workers.

Some of such towns, notably Pikalyovo in the northwestern Leningrad region, attracted national attention after their disgruntled populace blocked a major highway. “Solutions to problems of these single-industry towns have not been found,” said Sergei Zakharov, deputy director of the Institute of Demography at Moscow’s Higher School of Economy.

People will continue to leave even the mid-size towns of 100,000 to 200,000, since “they have nothing but problems and lack of even theoretical solutions”, he said. In the next 20 years, Russia will have to find a way to deal with immense Soviet infrastructure left in increasingly depopulated locales. “Both keeping it and removing it would require colossal expenditures,” Zakharov said.

The census is also indicating continued economic discrepancies between Moscow and the rest of the country, said Tatiana Maleva, head of the Independent Institute of Social Policy. Since 2002, Russia mostly was experiencing economic growth, which is “supposed to improve regional discrepancies, but we already see that this was not the case”, Maleva said.

From 2002 and 2010, Moscow had the highest population growth of 10.9 percent, according to census figures. Russia’s predominantly Muslim North Caucasus regions also registered an impressive average growth of 6.3 percent.

However the vast majority of the country saw the population decrease. The Far Eastern part of Russia decreased by six percent, with the harshest northern regions like Magadan shrinking by a record 14 percent.

About 3.6 million people were not covered by the census, of which a million refused to participate and the rest could not be located at their registered address, said Surinov. “There was a protest element to it,” said Maleva. “There is increased apathy in society as people unhappy with the current politics believed the census will not make any difference and refused to put in their effort.”

The Russian government has announced a plan to stabilize the population at 142-143 million by 2015 and increase it to 145 million by 2025. To reach that goal, Russian women need to have on average 2.14 children in 2025 because of the overall ageing population. In 2010 this figure was a mere 1.28, according to official statistics.

President Dmitry Medvedev has made demography one of the key concerns of his presidency, and called in his latest national address for more investment in children’s hospitals and supporting families with three or more children. Experts said it remains to be seen whether policies directed at stimulating birth rates have helped, since data on age and the number of households has not yet been analyzed. Migration and nationality data will also be released by the end of the year, said Surinov.

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Dear All,

A brutal police crack down took place on protesters in downtown Baku on 2-nd of April and tens of activists have been beaten, detained, arrested and improsined. To hold a meeting was decided at the Oppositional Public Chamber’s Rally Committee. The committee prepared the text of letter addressing the Baku City Executive Power related to the April 2 rally. The letter was signed by the representatives of the Musavat Party, Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, Classic Popular Front Party and Azerbaijan National Independence Party. The party representatives said in their letter that they were planning to hold two-hour rally on April 2 in the square before the Narimanov Cinema with demands of democratic reforms, freedom of speech, early parliamentary elections, freedom for Karabakh and others.

The Public Chamber’s Coordination Council decided that if the Baku authorities don’t allow holding a rally before the Narimanov Cinema, they will hold it in the Fountain Square in the center of Baku. Baku Mayor’s Office has replied to the Public Chamber’s appeal for holding rally on April 2 and said that will not permit them to hold rally in the square in front of Narimanov cinema. The Mayor’s office offered to hold the rally in the square in front of the driving school in “20-ci sahe” housing estate, Elchin Azizov street, Bibiheybat settlement. It is worthy to note that this space has no infrastructure to hold a rally and is far away from the city itself. It is a derilict place with no reason for the opposition to go there.

Before the rally police executed arrest of several active members of the oppositional parties. Member of Musavat Party Mehdi Mehdiyev was taken to the police office, Ibrahim Ahmadzadeh and Rauf Mammadov were interrogated by the police and later released. Member of Musavat Party’s Youth Organization Elchin Salimov was taken to the court from the third police office of Sumgayit. Chairman of Agsu organization of Classic Popular Front Party Yagub Babanli and chairman of Samukh region organization Tahir Abdullayev, member of Azerbaijan Popular Front Party’s Presidium Ilham Huseynli, head of security group of chairman of Azerbaijan Popular Front Party Karim Mehdiyev, members of Musavat Khalid Amanli, Rovshan Nasirli were detained. Ilham Huseinli was imprisoned for 7 days and Mr. Karim Mehdiyev for 13 days. Mr. Shahin Hasanli, member of Supreme Council of Popular Front Party receved a one month imrisonment and can be sentenced to more years on the fabricated court case.

2nd of April Public Chamber held a rally downtown Baku at 14.00. Dozens of opposition supporters were arrested as they tried to stage an antigovernment rally in downtown Baku. Protesters placards read “We want freedom,” “Ilham, go away,” and chanting for President Ilham Aliyev’s “resignation” from office. Police had shut down the central Fountain Square and roads leading to the square. Hundreds of protesters gathered near the square before security services cleared the area. The police, armed with batons, arrested protesters as they tried to reach Fountain Square, including women, and forced them into buses. RFE/RL correspondents saw police officers spraying tear gas through the bus windows into the detained activists’ faces.

Mr. Hasan Karimov, a second person at Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan was taken to police station by force from the apartment and he never joined the rally due to his serious heart illness. His heart could not endure the interragation and heavy conditions at police stations and he got a heart attack, after which hospitalised. His life is still under danger and critical hours continue.

Member of Supreme Council of Popular Front Party Mr. Rovshan Guliyev was also arrested and he sentenced to 7 days of imprisonment.

Several oppositional party officials were detained and now they face a criminal filing case. They are kept in Khatai Temporary Detention Center and expect a court. They are Mr. Fuad Gahramanli, Deputy-chairman of Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, Mr. Arif Hajili, head of Administration of Musavat party, Mr. Tural Abbasli, head of Youth Organization of Musavat Party and some others, whose names are unknown. All are also member of Public Chamber and high-ranking oppositional activists.

Some other actions preceded this 2nd of April rally. Young activists’ calls for a protest on March 11 were similarly dispersed and got crack down by the authorities. A peaceful protest organized by opposition party of Musavat and supported by other oppositional parties on March 12 was violently dispersed in Baku after the organizers were denied permission to gather in a central square of the capital.

Los Angeles wrote about the rally:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2011/04/azerbaijan-more-than-200-anti-government-protesters-are-arrested.html

The Washington Post also published an article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/police-in-azerbaijan-arrest-dozens-rallying-for-democracy/2011/04/02/AFbCupNC_story.html

Here you can read about those who were detained before the rally. Link is here:

Amnesty International urged the Azerbaijani authorities to respect their obligation to guarantee freedom of expression in Azerbaijan and to take immediate action to end the harassment of activists and journalists by police, officials, and nonstate actors. Read more about this and other issue here:
Police broke up the protest action downtown Baku brutally and you can read and watch video here:
List of arrested can be viewed here (in Azerbaijani)
We condemn the detention of the party activists, call on the government to reply to the appeals of the political parties and public organizations within the framework of the law and release all the detained.

We also urge the international community to hold strict position on this crack down and do everything to help Azerbaijani citizens to employ thier rights to freedom of assembly and right to safer life.

Sincerely,
Razi Nurullayev
Deputy-chairman, Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan

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Could this be the right way???

Saakashvili: ‘We Need Anti-Air, Anti-Tank Arms from U.S.’

Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 31 Mar.’11 / 10:53 Share/Save/Bookmark

Some sales of small arms from the United States to Georgia are “in the pipeline”, but Georgia needs heavier weapons, President Saakashvili told “The Cable” – a blog of The Foreign Policy magazine, during his recent visit to the U.S.

“We don’t’ really need small arms, we have plenty of them and actually there are many alternative sources to shop for them,” he was quoted in an article posted on The Cable on March 30. “What Georgia really needs is something that it cannot get from anywhere else and that’s anti-air and anti-tank [weapons] and that’s completely obvious … that’s where should be the next stage of the cooperation.”

In September, 2010 U.S. Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, said Washington had been “careful” in providing military assistance to Georgia. He, however, also said “every sovereign country has the right to provide for its own defense.”

In June, 2010 Philip Gordon, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, rejected that the U.S. had arms embargo on Georgia. He, however, said that Washington’s focus after the August war was on “reducing tensions” and trying to get Russian to follow its commitments under the ceasefire agreement and to respect Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“We don’t think that arms sales and military equipment is the path to the situation in Georgia that we’re trying to get to,” Gordon said

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Who will solve this problem?

“The International Court of Justice have declined to hear a case filed by Georgia accusing Russia of ethnic cleansing in Georgia’s breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

In a 10-6 ruling, the United Nations’ highest court said it had no jurisdiction in the case because Russia and Georgia had not attempted to negotiate a settlement to their long-running dispute before filing it to the court.”
http://www.rferl.org/content/world_court_ends_georgia_case_against_russia/3543799.html

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US Vice President Biden visits Moscow. What will happen now?

Header

April 2011
“The case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky has become a symbol of the systemic problems relating to law and order and the human rights crisis in today’s Russia….Mr. Khodorkovsky has become a symbol for many people in Russia struggling to deal with problems that are similar to this, albeit on a different scale.” – Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament, on March 23, 2011

HeaderOn March 8 US Vice President Joseph Biden arrived in Russia for meetings with President Medvedev, Prime Minister Putin, business leaders, civil society groups and opposition leaders.

read more here

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