Friday Wrap-up: Internet connectivity, landmines, and forced vaccinations

The 19-23 April overview from Azerbaijan.

The week of 19-23 April saw villagers bring the effect a lack of internet connection is having on their schoolchildren to light, further mine deaths and injuries, and allegations SOCAR is forcing its employees' family members to be vaccinated.

Poor internet stops children from attending school

Almost all villages in Azerbaijan have telephone lines and internet access but there are some exceptions, such as Baydovul village. Due to a lack of


connection in the village, children haven’t been able to get the education they need.

Village resident Nusrat Gurbanov told Meydan TV that "high school students have to prepare for exams, graduates have to prepare for university, and the biggest tool here is the Internet. The Internet is as important to these children as air and water. It is as if civilization has not reached our village."

The villagers brought up the topic to the telecommunication authorities but it seems like there hasn’t been any significant development so far.

The threat of hidden landmines

Arif Guliyev, a resident of Khojavend region, stepped on a landmine in Aghdam region on 17 April, leading to his leg being amputated. This isn’t first time an Azerbaijani citizen was injured or killed by a landmine. Since the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh war, multiple people have died or were injured from the hidden landmines in the area. Even today, the number and the locations of the landmines are unknown.

2021 World Press Freedom Index

Azerbaijan was ranked 167 out of 180 countries in the

RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index

, one spot higher than in 2020. Even though Azerbaijan’s ranking increased, Azerbaijan's media situation has consistently been assessed as "very serious" in the past years and has shown almost no improvement.

Azerbaijan’s overview in the 2021 Index

SOCAR Vaccinations

SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic) has made COVID-19 vaccinations


, not just for its employees, but allegedly also for their families.

One worker's son explained he was against vaccines, but wished he were given the right to choose. Employees are forced to put aside their concerns about the safety of the vaccine in order not to lose their job.

Ana səhifəNewsFriday Wrap-up: Internet connectivity, landmines, and forced vaccinations