In an interview with
published on June 8, 2015,
, the head of the Permanent Observer Mission of Organization of Islamic Cooperation to the European Union, said that he wasn’t calling for a regime change but reforms.
“I’m not for a regime change, but reforms. If the authorities carry out the reforms that people expect, and you know perfectly well the people’s mood, the mood of the street, and even the mood of the elites… And there are people in the elite who see that what’s happening is wrong. I know them personally and know many of them,” said Mammadov, who made a Facebook post a day after the Baku fire on May 19 criticizing the government.
A number of diplomats “liked” Mammadov’s post. Among them was Anar Madatli, a diplomat in Brussels and son of former Ambassador to Ukraine and Permanent Representative to the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development (GUAM) Eynulla Madatli. On June 3, 2015, President Ilham Aliyev signed an order to recall Eynulla Madatli.
“And even if they start firing people because someone knows me, they’ll have to dismiss the whole political elite,” Mammadov said. “So that people understand that something must be done.”
“Those people who have now attacked me are holding more progressive members of the team in fear,” he added.
Earlier this week, diplomat Hikmet Hajiyev apologized for “liking” Mammadov’s post and “condemned the acts and thoughts of Arif Mammadov.”
“Insults against his own people are not allowed. This is a prime example of how Arif Mammadov together with his patrons in Europe is involved in the anti-Azerbaijani propaganda campaign in the run-up to the European Games,” Hajiyev wrote on his Facebook page.
Mammdov commented in the interview that those who “liked” his post were subjected to “great pressure.”
The controversy goes back to Mammadov’s May 20 Facebook post where the said the following: “This tragedy [Baku fire] is the pain and tragedy of every Azerbaijani. No people will tolerate so much shame and injustice. Officials make millions off our people’s suffering, and if they do not fear the wrath of our people, then let them fear Allah’s wrath!”
Mammadov confirmed in the interview with
that the post was authentic and belonged to him.
Some local media cried foul over they some called a “mutiny” within Azerbaijan’s diplomatic corps. In particular, Eynulla Fatullayev on
accused Mammadov of treachery and betrayal.