President Ilham Aliyev Sets Date for Referendum on Amendments to Constitution

President Ilham Aliyev has signed an order on holding popular vote (referendum) to make amendments to the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic. According to the order, the draft Referendum Act on “Making Changes to the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic” will be put to popular vote (referendum) and will be published in the media (the draft is attached). The popular vote (referendum) is scheduled for September 26, 2016. Central Election Commission is to ensure that the popular vote (referendum) is held on the specified date. The Cabinet of...

President Pushes for Jail Sentence for Individuals Using Drones

According to the Azerbaijani Parliament, President Ilham Aliyev has submitted to the Parliament a draft law envisaging jail sentence for individuals who use drones for filming in Azerbaijan.The bill introduces a new sub-clause to Article 156 (breach of privacy) of Criminal Code. According to the sub-clause, the individuals who use drones to disseminate information containing personal and family secrets will be subject to criminal prosecution. Such persons may be sentenced to either a 2-year jail sentence or a 3-year ban from holding a certain position...

Conversation with Ilham Aliyev about pressure on civil society

Conversation with Ilham Aliyev about pressure on civil society       In April of this year, Azerbaijan lost its “full member” status at the organization and gained a “candidate” status, which shows that the civil society in Azerbaijan is facing a problematic situation.   According to her, President Aliyev related the pressures against the civil society to “some instability in the region.”   Clare Short served as the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development in 1997-2003. Below you can read her interview with BBC Azerbaijan.   - How did you decide to visit...

Investigators in NGO case receive presidential award

    On 30 September, President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree awarding staff from the Prosecutor General’s Office, for their work “ensuring the rule of law in Azerbaijan, investigating and solving serious crime, fighting corruption and defending the state prosecution in court.” Among those awarded are investigators who played an active role in the criminal case launched against a number of local and international NGOs in April 2014.     Some investigators were singled out for reward, including investigator Orkhan Babayev, who received a medal for his “distinguished public service”. Babayev...

Azerbaijani President gives anti-Europe speech to students

 On September 15, President Ilham Aliyev visited School No.148 in connection with the start of the new academic year. The President praised the national educational standards.   “Today, ideological wars are being waged across the world, and special programmes are implemented, targeting young people in particular. Some countries are carrying out measures under the name of globalization, eventually leading to problems for those countries,” said Ilham Aliyev.    According to the President, Azerbaijan is implementing its own development model, which is based on independence, national values, patriotism and independent...

Offshores Close to President Paid Nothing for State Share of Telecom

  Taxpayers in Azerbaijan lost more than US$ 600 million in a deal that made no sense for all involved except for a murky offshore deeply connected to President Ilham Aliyev.   An investigative report provides details on how a company close to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his family likely walked off with more than US$ 1 billion in a takeover of his country’s stake in Azercell Telecom, the largest mobile operator in the country.   The process was aided by a subsidiary of TeliaSonera, the Swedish-Finnish telecom giant,...
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