October 28th, 2011
Today the Media Center hosted a discussion on the article “A Genuine Struggle Against Corruption, or merely a political tool?” , written by the journalist Kamal Ali, and originally published on the RIA-Novosti Information Agency website.

The event was launched as part of a joint project by the Institute For Reporters’ Freedom and Safety, Yeni Nesil Journalists’ Union and the Azerbaijan Media Center.
The author said that he had successfully exposed cases of corruption simply by monitoring his own family’s encounters with state officials.  He said that he had been forced to give 100 AZN as a bribe for violating traffic rules, claiming that the state traffic police are still encouraging corruption.  His sons were asked for a 10 AZN bribe when applying for passports.   Ali  also said that his monitoring had found two official institutions – the State Migration Service and State Registration of Real Estate – to be free of corruption.
Ali told an anecdote from the Gakh region of Azerbaijan: a farmer went to the police and lodged a complaint claiming that his sheep had been stolen. The police came to the village and gathered 1 or 2 sheep from every village resident. When the citizens asked why, the police said that they wanted to return the farmer’s stolen sheep.
Ccorruption in public services is even worse than it was before the President launched his anti-corruption campaign, claims Ali. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Road Police denied the incidents mentioned above.
The journalist declared that the governmental campaign was insincere, and had been initiated only to placate the internatinoal commmunity.  Kamal Ali said  that this problem will not be solved unless the society gets serious about fighting corruption.