The week of January 30 – February 3 saw the 2023 Corruption Perception Index, 39 people arrested as “Iranian spies” and opposition party member arrested for complaining about energy company on social media.
Corruption Index: Azerbaijan has fallen further
Transparency International released its yearly Corruption Perception Index. The institution assessed and ranked the level of corruption in the public sector of 180 countries and territories from 0 to 100. A score of 100 indicates the absence of corruption in the public sector, and a score of 0 indicates a very high level thereof.
Azerbaijan ranked 157th out of 180 countries with 23 points. Last year, the country was in the 128th position with 30 points. The Republic of Honduras, Iraq, Burma, and Zimbabwe rank the same as Azerbaijan.
Neighboring countries, Georgia scored 56 out of 100 points, while Armenia scored 46. Georgia ranks 41st, and Armenia, 63rd.
Azerbaijani officials have not commented on the announced index yet. The authorities do not hide the existence of this problem. There is even an Anti-Corruption Agency in the country, at the same time, international media and independent journalists often publish research on corruption and embezzlement in Azerbaijan.
39 people presented by the Ministry of Internal Affairs as “Iranian spies” have been detained
With the tension that arose after the incident at Azerbaijan’s embassy in Iran, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs launched a search for the “Iranian spy network” and allegedly detained 39 more people.
It is reported that those persons were identified as a result of a special operation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). Elshad Hajiyev, head of the media and public relations department of the MIA Press Service, confirmed the information to Meydan TV.
According to the information shared by the Ministry, the detained persons carried out acts of sabotage and violation under the “veil of religion” in Azerbaijan. It is also reported that they carried out propaganda in favor of Iran on social networks, portraying themselves as religious.
Relatives of the detained persons believe that none of them are spies and are just victims of the tension between the two countries.
Opposition party member arrested after posting about energy company on social media
Elnur Hasanov, a member of the Sabunchu district branch of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), was arrested for 30 days under articles 510 (petty hooliganism) and 535.1 (disobeying the legal request of the police) of the Code of Administrative Offenses. Meydan TV was informed about this by the press service of the party.
His 85-year-old grandmother had its power cut in winter by employees of the energy company “Azerishiq”. Because of that, Hasanov criticized them through social media. “He said that the authorities, including the head of the country, are responsible for all illegalities in the country,” the PFPA reported.
On January 30, Elnur Hasanov wrote on his Facebook account that he was being followed by three people after his post the day before. He was detained the next morning and taken to the police station.