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Azerbaijani, Armenian Ambassadors Call On Compatriots In Russia To Keep Calm

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Azerbaijani, Armenian Ambassadors Call On Compatriots In Russia To Keep Calm

The ambassadors of Armenia and Azerbaijan have called on their countrymen to avoid "provocations" and confrontations amid reports that ethnic Armenians and Azerbaijanis have clashed in Moscow and some other Russian cities in recent days amid an escalation of tensions between the two South Caucasus countries.

Vardan Toghanian and Polad Bulbuloglu issued separate statements calling on Armenians and Azerbaijanis residing in Russia not to violate laws of the Russian Federation.

The call came after Moscow police said more than 30 foreign nationals were arrested for taking part in huge fights and riots in the Russian capital and surrounding region on July 23-24.

According to police officials, the majority of the arrested foreigners were charged with hooliganism, while some faced robbery charges as well.

"In addition, in accordance with migration laws, many of the detained individuals will be barred from entering the territory of the Russian Federation for a period of five years," the officials said.

Police did not specify which countries the detained people were from and what exactly caused the fights, but media reports said that several mass brawls between ethnic Azerbaijanis and Armenians took place in Moscow and other towns and cities near the Russian capital last week.

Police in Russia's second-largest city, St, Peterburg, said on July 25 that they prevented a large fight between Azerbaijanis and Armenians in an area near the city.

The reports came as the situation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border has escalated since July 12. Both sides have reported casualties among military personnel.

Since July 17, both sides have characterized the situation as relatively calm, though both have also accused each other of shelling in the border area and near the contact line in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Armenia said on July 27 that one of its soldiers was killed overnight by sniper fire near the border, while Azerbaijan accused Armenia of using machine guns and sniper rifles along the border over the previous 24 hours.

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The two countries have been in conflict since 1988, when the mostly Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region announced its secession from Azerbaijan.

In the course of the 1992-94 armed conflict, Azerbaijan lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts.

Since 1992, negotiations on a peaceful settlement of the conflict conducted by the OSCE Minsk Group, which is chaired by the United States, France, and Russia, have brought no progress in solution of the ongoing conflict.

In a phone call on July 27, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, expressed "readiness…to coordinate efforts for stabilization in the region," the Kremlin said.

A statement said that Putin "underlined the importance of not allowing any actions that promote an escalation in tensions."

Both leaders said they backed "resolving the conflict situation exclusively in a peaceful way, through talks."

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry announced that the country and its close ally Turkey will hold joint military exercises in early August.

The drills would take place on Azerbaijani soil and involve "army personnel of both countries, armored vehicles, artillery and mortars, as well as military aircraft and air defense," the ministry said.

With reporting by Interfax, TASS, and AFP

Read Original Article here by RFERL

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‘Our Animals Are Dying’: Water Goes Bad In Azerbaijani Village

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Residents in the village of Banka in Azerbaijan say they lack basic water supplies for themselves and their animals after water in the Kura River dropped and became contaminated with salt water from the nearby Caspian Sea. Experts believe farming, a major hydroelectric plant upstream, and climate change could be to blame.Read Original Article here by RFERL

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Citizens of Baku to remain stuck at home? No info on future as last day of strict quarantine approaches

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As of August 3, citizens of Baku and 14 other cities and regions in Azerbaijan have spent six weeks living under a strict quarantine regime due to the coronavirus.

Since June 21, people have been allowed to go outside for three hours a day after receiving SMS permission from the authorities, and all stores are closed, excluding grocery stores and pharmacies.

Public transport is not running on Saturdays or Sundays.

The authorities’ most recent decision states that the quarantine will end at 6 am on August 5. However, no statement has been released about lifting the quarantine, and there is a growing fear that it may be extended.

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Within the past three weeks, there were several times when the quarantine was scheduled to be lifted, but was instead extended. But the authorities had issued a statement informing citizens ahead of time.

Azerbaijan continues to celebrate Eid al-Adha, and August 4 is the first working day after the holiday.

MP of the Milli Mejlis Musa Guliyev reported some positive news:

“The roads between cities and regions will reopen, the metro will start running again, and people will be able to leave the house without SMS permission. But at the same time, we musts not forget that the epidemic is still going on and we must adhere to safety measures.”

However, people on social networks have more to say about the pessimistic forecast of the chief infectious disease specialist Jalal Isaev.

He said that the authorities may extend the strict quarantine for several more weeks in order to bring the number of new cases a day down into the double digits.

Over the past 24 hours, 286 new cases have been reported in Azerbaijan, bringing the total since the beginning of the epidemic to 32,443 cases. Eight more people have died, bringing the total in Azerbaijan to 462. 27,113 people have recovered.

Baku, Tbilisi Avenue. Photo JAMnews

The post Citizens of Baku to remain stuck at home? No info on future as last day of strict quarantine approaches appeared first on English Jamnews.

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Azerbaijani Ombudsman denies death of political prisoner. New reports of torture in prisons. Updated

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12.00 / August 2

It remains unclear whether Azerbaijani political prisoner Fuad Qahramanli, a board member of the opposition Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, is alive or has died in prison.

On the evening of August 1, information about his possible death from torture appeared on social media [more in the report below]. Then, former prosecutor Rufat Safarov denied this message on his Facebook page.

“The head of the department for the prevention of torture of the Azerbaijani Ombudsman’s Office, Rashid Rumzadeh, said that Fuad Qahramanli is alive,” Safarov wrote with reference to lawyer Bahruz Bayramov.

The lawyer was promised that on Monday, August 3, they would try to arrange a meeting with Qahramanli.

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Rufat Safarov, in the same post, critically noted that the ombudsman’s staff should have visited the prisoner after the alarming messages on social media and provided reliable information to his family and friends.

Instead, they postponed the issue for several days.

With the hope that Fuad Qahramanli is still alive, opposition blogger Bakhtiyar Hajiyev also writes:

I appealed to the Ombudsman about the state of Qahramanli. About half an hour later, I was informed that he was alive and that he was currently in the Kurdakhan detention center. It is reported that his condition and conditions of detention are good.

The issue is now under the personal control of Ombudswoman Sabina Aliyeva. I look forward to a solution to the issue of organizing meetings between prisoners and their families and lawyers.

There is very little information on the state of political prisoners in Azerbaijan’s prisons as a whole.

Blogger Nihad Huseyn wrote on his Twitter that opposition activist Seymur Akhmedov was able to send a letter from prison to his loved ones, in which he reported being tortured daily and beaten.

Akhmedov, like Qahramanli, was detained among 45 opposition activists for participating in a rally in Baku in support of the army on the night of July 15.

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Seymur Akhmedov writes that … a man in civilian clothes beat him for hours in the building of the Narimanov district police station,” blogger Nihad Huseyn said.

19.00 / August 1

Political prisoner Fuad Qahramanli may have died from torture in a Baku prison on August 1, local social media write. There is no official confirmation or evidence yet.

Fuad Qahramanli is one of more than 45 members of the opposition Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan who were detained after the July 15 rally in Baku in support of the army.

“Ilham Aliyev [President of Azerbaijan], if something happens to the people you have arrested, you are responsible for it,” his ex-wife Zumrud Yagmur wrote on her Facebook page.

While no official confirmation has been given, a number of messages to effect have been published, amongst others by well-known investigative journalist Khadija Ismail:

Various sources say that PFPA executive director Fuad Qahramanli was tortured. There is also information that he is dead. Lawyer Bahruz Bayramov was not allowed to see him from the moment of his arrest.

“Two other party members, Baba Suleiman and Seymur Akhmadov, were also severely tortured and threatened with rape. Baba reportedly agreed to sign false statements against party chairman Ali Karimli after being tortured.

“We try to check the reports. Lawyers are not allowed to see their clients, and there is no effective mechanism against torture in Azerbaijan.”

Azerbaijani bloggers have recently begun to conduct a daily report in two areas: statistics on coronavirus and the number of oppositionists detained by the authorities.

The 45 opposition activists who were recently arrested were initially charged with illegal protests during the rally in support of the army on the night of July 15.

However, the charges then escalated, and some of the detainees are now charged with ‘attempting to overthrow the government’.

The post Azerbaijani Ombudsman denies death of political prisoner. New reports of torture in prisons. Updated appeared first on English Jamnews.

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