Although Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis described the IGB natural gas pipeline, which connects the national natural gas transmission system of Greece with the Bulgarian network and will be able to transport billions of cubic metres of gas per year from Azerbaijan, as a "pipeline of values", even if we ignore the continued ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh's Armenians, how true is the Greek leaders statement?
If we look towards the media sphere, as one example, there is a lack of these values that Mitsotakis talks about.
The very first thing the Azerbaijan page of Reporters Without Borders says is: "President Ilham Aliyev has wiped out any semblance of pluralism, and since 2014, he has sought ruthlessly to silence any remaining critics."
"No independent television or radio is transmitted from within the country, and all print newspapers with a critical stance have been shut down. Most independent news sites, such as Azadliq amd Meydan TV, targeted by state censorship, are based abroad."
It also explains that no official or police officer in the past 20 years has been sanctioned for hitting or insulting a journalists and that "the Baku regime tries to tame independent journalists in exile by pressuring their friends and family who remain in the country."
Even more alarmingly though is that the Aliyev regime exports its targeting of journalists outside of Azerbaijan's own borders.
On May 31, Azerbaijani blogger Tural Sadigly, who lives in Germany but is currently staying in the UK, stated that a conspiracy was being prepared against him by the Azerbaijani authorities.
“I assure you that my life is in serious danger. This time they are planning something against me. The instruction was given by the presidential administration.
For this reason, my parents will hold a protest in front of the presidential administration building in Baku tomorrow. I ask political parties, human rights activists, activists, journalists, everyone – to support them”, Sadigly wrote on his Facebook page.
A little later, an Azerbaijani journalist, former political prisoner Afgan Mukhtarli, who lives in Germany, confirmed the threat to the life of the blogger on his social media.
“Azerbaijani migrant and blogger living in Germany, head of the Azad söz (Free Speech) YouTube channel Tural Sadigly wrote about the serious danger to his life.
The Aliyev regime repeatedly arrested, kidnapped and blackmailed its opponents residing abroad. Ilham Aliyev used terrorist groups more than once against those whom he could not arrest.
Last year, among the oppositionists living abroad, Bayram Mammadov was killed in Istanbul, Vugar Rza in Belgium, Huseyn Bakikhanov in Tbilisi.
Attempts were made to kill Magomed Mirzali, Orkhan Agayev, Ordukhan Babirov, Gabil Mamedov.
French police arrested several individuals for an attempted murder of Magomed Mirzali.
The threat of murder against Tural Sadigly, the search for his address are quite serious. European law enforcement agencies must ensure the safety of Tural Bey”, Mukhtarli said.
Another Azerbaijani opposition blogger was attacked in Europe. This time the victim of the attack was blogger Manaf Jalilzade, who is known for his criticism of Mehriban and Ilham Aliyev, according to Infoteka24.
“Blogger Manaf Jalilzade, who lives in Switzerland, was brutally beaten by three Azerbaijanis in front of his house on April 29, 2022 at 23:00. His condition is very critical,” another French-based opposition blogger, Mirzali Muhammad, tweeted.
These are just a few examples in 2022, but cases can be brought up in every year of Azerbaijan's post-Soviet era.
Take some of these examples:
- 1. An Azerbaijani journalist and political activist Afgan Mukhtarli was kidnapped inGeorgia’s capital Tbilisi on May 29, 2017, and then illegally brought across the border toAzerbaijan
- In March 2018, in Germany, by the order of the Deputy Chairman of the Parliament of Azerbaijan Adyl Aliyev, Rauf Babayev was beaten after his speech at an event.
- In December of 2018 in the center of Strasbourg the attack on Ganimat Zaidov: an unknown person hit him in the back and took away his mobile phone.
- In November of 2019 the attack on Muhammad Mirzali in France: he was shot 4 times, one cartridge hit his arm, the rest into the car.
- In January of 2020, on the same day, there was an attempt on the life of Sevinj Mirzoyeva in the USA (fastening bolts were removed from the front wheels of his car, it was purely by chance that he managed to avoid a car accident, the children of S. Mirzoyeva, were also in the car).
- On 30th of December, 2020, the mysterious disappearance of Vugar Rza in Belgium, the body was found on the 18th of January, 2021 in a river.
- In February 2021, Orkhan Agaev was beaten in the center of Berlin.
- In March of 2021 attack on Muhammad Mirzali in the center of Nantes, 4 people were arrested, the rest of the gang members are wanted.
- On 2nd of May 2021, Azerbaijani opposition activist Bayram Mammadov has been found dead in Istanbul in an apparent drowning
- On July 14th 2021, Azerbaijani opposition blogger Huseyn Bakixanov, died on July 14 under unclear circumstances after apparently falling from a roof of a Tbilisi hotel.
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