Daily News Feed – September 6th, 2016

Youth activist detention term extended; Azadliq newspaper has ceased publication; D18 civil society group – “we must beat the government at its own game.”; ASAN state service portal to receive 5 million manat in additional funds; Black Currency Market Offering 2 manat / dollar

Youth activist detention term extended

The detention term for Bayram Mammadov, who was arrested in May on false drug charges, has been extended for another two months. Mammadov’s lawyer, Elchin Sadiqov, stated that he intends to appeal the decision. Mammadov was detained with another youth activist, Qiyas Ibrahimov on May 10th, after they wrote graffiti on a statue to Heydar Aliyev in downtown Baku that read, “Happy Slave Day” instead of “Happy Flower Day”, in the run up to Azerbaijan’s annual Festival of Flowers. The youth activists have both provided written testaments to their lawyer that they have been tortured on numerous occasions while in police custody. They were both originally sentenced to 4 months pre-trial detention.


Azadliq newspaper has ceased publication

As of September 6th, Azadliq newspaper has closed its doors. In the press release issued by the newspaper, it is reported that “Azerbaijan Publishing House” has decided to stop printing issues of the newspaper for an undefined period of time because of the publication’s outstanding debts. Azerbaijan Publishing House had previously extended Azadliq’s payment schedule twice in the last several months. Azadliq was able to pay off a portion of their debts in July, but was unable to acquire additional funds. Azadliq newspaper’s financial director was arrested on August 22nd, and accused of harboring sympathies and having ties to Fethullah Gulen – the Turkish theologist currently residing in the United States, and accused of having organized the failed coup in Turkey in July.


D18 civil society group – “we must beat the government at its own game.”

D18, an Azerbaijani organization whose purpose is to nurture democratic thought in society and whose values are based off those of the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic of 1918, released a statement today in relation to the upcoming September 26th referendum: “Even though we have tried to gather the opposition forces in one place, this has not worked out for both subjective and objective reasons. D18 joined forces with the “Respublika” initiative launched by Musavat. And though we gathered the required amount of signatures, we were not able to form an initiative group to counter the amendments proposed by the constitution. Our application was denied by the National Elections Committee. The government is doing all it can to let the referendum slip us by in secret. We must beat the government at its own game.” the statement read.


ASAN state service portal to receive 5 million manat in additional funds

President Ilham Aliyev has signed 5 million manat from the state budget to the online, state – services portal, “ASAN”, where citizens can request and notarize various documents for use with the state authorities, including marriage, death, military registration and driving licenses, amongst others. The finances are to be transfered from the President’s Reserve Fund.


Black Currency Market Offering 2 manat / dollar

Azerbaijan’s black currency market has begun selling the manat for half the price of a dollar. Reuters News Agency reported today that “Azerbaijani banks are tightly controlling the sale of the dollar, and that demand for the dollar continues to rise quickly.” Reuters further reported that since the most recent devaluation, both businesses and customers have been trying to rid themselves of large quantities of the manat. Reuters entered 6 banks in Baku, and was able to buy the American dollar only in three of them. In one bank, despite the official sale limit on the dollar being set at 500 dollars, reporters were sold only 100 dollars. Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani State Oil Fund aunctioned off 50 million US dollars today, which were purchased by 30 banks.

ГлавнаяNewsDaily News Feed – September 6th, 2016