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Author: Anna Zamejc

“Freedom for Tofiq Yaqublu”. The price of political opposition

Tofiq Yaqublu, the Azerbaijani opposition leader and prisoner of conscience, started a hunger strike demanding the reversal of his recent prison sentence. This is a desperate cry for justice in a country where everything depends on the whim of the president.

September 16, 2020 - Anna Zamejc

Azerbaijan: A new chapter?

Azerbaijan may not be on the cusp of a major reform, but developments of recent months have formed the most interesting socio-political dynamics this rather boringly-stable Caspian Republic has seen since 2003.

It is not the first time “reform” has become a buzz word in Azerbaijan. The authorities made several pledges in the past to overhaul and diversify the economy and uproot corruption – especially ahead of elections or in moments of social unrest. Yet apart from a few cosmetic changes, the system and its people remained largely intact. So when the 57-year old president recently announced a package of sweeping reforms and started replacing older officials with young technocrats, many shook their heads in disbelief, taking it as yet another empty promise aimed to pacify the public and create a façade of change.

January 28, 2020 - Anna Zamejc

Azerbaijan: Ten years in jail for graffiti

A court in Baku recently sentenced a 22-year-old activist to ten years in jail after he spray-painted “No to Dictatorship” and “Happy Slave Day” on a statue of Heydar Aliyev, the former president.

December 5, 2016 - Anna Zamejc

When in Baku…

When Azeri duo Ell & Nikki won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011, Azerbaijan was overjoyed. In a country where the Eurovision breaks popularity records, there is no end to the applause for these native artists. The historical victory was a breakthrough for everyone: the government saw an opportunity for the quicker modernisation of infrastructure […]

January 8, 2013 - Anna Zamejc

East Side Stories

Despite a rapidly growing economy and a large influx of oil money, Azerbaijani youth are far from being jubilant. Amid fears that the wave of democracy may never reach the shores of the Caspian Sea, many young, educated people seek ways to start a fresh life, preferably far away from the state borders. He introduces […]

October 28, 2011 - Anna Zamejc


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