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Political news
Bulletine Politics 

2017 October 19 ( Thursday )  14:51:28
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Русский Azərbaycan


Hearings on Karabakh Conflict in U.S. Helsinki Commission

Baku / 19.10.17 / Turan: "The four-day war" in April 2016 in Karabakh led to the death of about 200 people and demonstrated that, despite reaching ceasefire more than twenty years ago, this conflict is not "frozen."

Discussions around this opinion unfolded the day before at the hearing on the topic Prevent War in Nagorno-Karabakh organized in Washington D.C. by the Helsinki Commission of the United States, the Azerbaijani service of the Voice of America reports.

Two former US Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Cary Cavanaugh and James Warlick, and the program director of the International Crisis Group for Europe and Central Asia Magdalena Grono spoke and answered the audience's questions.

According to Cavanaugh, Western states, including the United States, want an early and full resolution of the conflict and act in this direction.

However, they act with an intermediary position, and the settlement of the conflict ultimately depends on the will of the parties.

"The level of cooperation between the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs surprises many," Cavanaugh said, noting that despite the contradictions between the US and Russia in various spheres, they effectively cooperate on the Karabakh conflict issue.

Fierce fighting in April 2016 showed that the risk of a new war is great.

Cavanaugh drew attention to the fact that when the conflict began, Azerbaijan and Armenia had just gained independence. However, a lot of time has passed since then in the political and economic form of both states, and significant changes have taken place, which must be taken into account.

In turn, Warlick said that, despite the ceasefire, people are still killed and wounded.

Given the availability of modern weapons for both sides, the number of victims can increase considerably.

According to him, the positions of the parties are not far from how it is described in the media.

After the April war, the mediation efforts were intensified and during this period additional proposals were put forward.

In his opinion, any peace agreement should be based on 6 elements, including the existence of political will for peace, the definition of a framework for security and self-government for the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, the return of other occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the existence of a corridor between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh that does not completely cover the Lachin region, the return of internally displaced persons and the possible deployment of peacekeepers.

Grono and other participants noted that the fundamental principles of the settlement should be territorial integrity, the right to ethnic self-determination and the rejection of the use of force.

It was also noted that if the problem was not resolved, it would go beyond the borders and influence countries such as the Russian Federation and Iran. All this actualizes the increase in efforts to resolve the conflict. -03D-

Baku Executive Power Refuses to Permit Musavat Partys Procession

Baku / 19.10.17 / Turan: The Baku Executive Power refused to permit the procession of the Musavat Party, scheduled for October 21.

Earlier, the Musavat party decided to hold a protest action on October 21, demanding the fight against corruption and the release of political prisoners. It asked the Baku authorities to permit the procession on one of two routes: from the subway station Darnagul to the subway station Azadlyg Prospecti, or from the circle in front of the Ministry of Emergency Situations to the monument to Huseyn Javid on Huseyn Javid Avenue.

However, the Executive Power today proposed that instead of the procession the party should hold a rally at the Yasamal district stadium on October 21.

The head of the Musavat party, in a conversation with Turan News Agency, called the decision of the city authorities "illegal". "The Baku Executive Power does not have the authority to ban mass actions. It is even more absurd to prohibit the procession under the pretext of "increasing the number of cars" in the city of Baku," Arif Hajili said.

At the same time, he recalled the statement of President Ilham Aliyev at a recent meeting with the EU delegation that freedom of assembly is fully ensured in Azerbaijan. "Freedom of assembly is not limited to one stadium and should be extended to the whole territory of the country. However, refusing to permit our action, the Azerbaijani authorities have shown that there is no freedom of assembly in the country," Hajili said.

According to him, the Musavat Party is currently discussing the answer of the Baku Executive Power and will make a decision today. -03B06-

USD Exchange Rate Unchanged, EUR Rises

Baku / 19.10.17 / Turan: At the currency auction of the Central Bank on Thursday, the USD rate remained unchanged at the level of 1.7001 manat.

Commercial banks buy American currency in the range of 1.6850-1.7000, and sell it at 1.7030-1.7080 manat per USD.

The euro exchange rate on October 19 rose slightly from 2.0000 manat to 2.0063 manat. In commercial banks, the euro can be bought at 2.0185-2.0327 manat per EUR. -71D-

State Security Service Seizes More Than 600 Thousand Counterfeit Excise Stamps

Baku / 19.10.17 / Turan: During the operation conducted by the State Security Service (SSS) of Azerbaijan, 619.5 thousand counterfeit excise stamps for alcoholic beverages were seized.

They were intended for the illegal production of vodka. "Fake excise stamps came to Azerbaijan by smuggling through a customs post on the Azerbaijani-Georgian border," the message says.

In addition, as a result of the operation, containers were found to store low-quality alcohol, which was planned to be used for the production of counterfeit vodka.

A criminal case has been launched, and the joint investigation is continued by SSS and the Ministry of Taxes, the press release says. -06D--

Citizens Can Lose Legal Protection - Lawyers

Baku / 19.10.17 / Turan: A group of lawyers held a press conference in the hotel Chirag in connection with the forthcoming changes in the legislation regarding the institution of representation in the protection of citizens" rights. These changes, which will be submitted for discussion in the Milli Majlis on October 20, will affect the Civil Procedure, Administrative Procedural Codes and the Law on Advocates and Lawyers.

The legislative initiative comes from the Supreme Court.

The text of the bill has not been published. However, according to the information available to lawyers, according to the draft law, lawyers who are not members of the Bar Association will be restricted in the right to represent individuals in the judiciary. Lawyers do not agree with these changes.

Lawyer Ramil Suleymanov brought disappointing statistics to the audience, according to which there are only 936 members of the Bar Association in the country for 10 million people. "It turns out that for every 11,100 people there is only one lawyer. About 100 out of 936 members of the Bar Association do not work as lawyers. Some of them are engaged in business, and some are represented in state structures and cannot engage in advocacy. Of the remaining 836 people, approximately 700 work in Baku. It turns out that in the regions of the country there are only about 150 lawyers, and thus the residents of the regions receive legal assistance mainly at the expense of representatives," Suleymanov said.

In neighboring Georgia, for example, there are about 5,000 lawyers per four million inhabitants. It should be noted that the number of registered candidates for the Bar Association is only 1,019 people. Even if you imagine that all these candidates without examinations will be admitted to the Bar, this problem with lack of lawyers will not be corrected.

The lawyer added that the authorities, accepting such changes, appeal to international practice, where only members of the Bar Associations are engaged in civil and administrative matters, and this guarantees high-quality legal assistance. "In foreign countries, not only lawyers, but also legal representatives defend people. For example, in the U.S. legal representatives are engaged in 27% of all civil cases and 92% of cases involving pensions. In the world practice there is no concept of legal assistance only from the Bar Association members," he said.

Lawyer Khalid Bagirov said the authorities should wonder whether legal assistance should be an appointed institution. "Over time, the institution of representation has turned into an institution of legal assistance for the reason that the institute of advocacy in the country proved ineffective. Now the authorities say the institution of representation should be liquidated because of poor-quality legal services. This is absurd. If the authorities want to improve the quality of legal services, the Bar must be improved. A total of 13,000 of only criminal cases are considered in Azerbaijan for a year. If the changes are accepted, lawyers who do not cope with 13 thousand criminal cases will have to deal with 150 thousand cases - criminal, civil and administrative. This will lead to paralysis of the country's legal system," the expert said.

Bagirov pointed to the weak state legal protection of citizens.

"To date, the state allocates 5 cents for legal assistance to each citizen. In neighboring Turkey, this figure is set at 1 euro. If you want to improve the quality of legal aid, increase the amount. No lawyer will defend a citizen for 2 manat per hour," Bagirov stressed.

According to the lawyer Farhad Mehdiyev, if the institution of representation is abolished, then in the conditions of a small number of lawyers, they will start to treat cases selectively. They will choose cases that bring in a good income, and the poor will not be able to go to court. In this case, Article 6 of the European Convention is violated, the main thesis of which is that the courts should be accessible to every citizen. Often, representatives provide free legal assistance, and with the adoption of amendments this will become impossible.

At the same time, he noted that representation should be dealt with by graduated lawyers.

Lawyer Samed Rahimli noted that as a result of reforms carried out by the authorities in the legal sphere, there is regression.

At the same time he drew attention to the fact that many practicing lawyers began to function outside the Bar through the institution of representation. "Many lawyers for their independent position have been expelled from the Bar. In Azerbaijan, the biggest problem of lawyers is that they can be complained about by the Bar in a court of law and dismissed from their lawyers" practice. Due to the fact that the Bar is not an independent body, lawyers whose views are contrary to the opinion of state bodies are beginning to be intimidated with dismissal from the Bar, an organ that should protect the rights of lawyers," Rahimli said.

According to the lawyer, changes in the legislation will lead to the fact that the effectiveness of legal assistance will weaken. "All cases will be transferred to lawyers whom the state authorities can easily neutralize," the expert said.

In addition, the liquidation of the institution of representation will limit the capacity of citizens to lodge complaints with the European Court of Human Rights, the expert said. -0-

Sewage Flows into Caspian Sea

Baku / 19.10.17 / Turan: Employees of the Ministry of Ecology have revealed the facts of the runoff of polluted domestic waters from the settlements of Lokbatan, Sahil, Umid, Gobustan and Sangachal to the Caspian Sea.

In this regard, a protocol has been drawn up against Ahliman Mansurov, the head of the Garadagh Water Channel, and he was fined 3,000 manat (1,800 US dollars) in accordance with the Code on Administrative Offenses.

To eliminate the violation and prevent pollution of the sea in the future, the management of the enterprise has been given an urgent "mandatory instruction." -06D--

Press Review 10/19/2017

Reforms of the management system in the country, the situation with the institute of advocacy, and a sharp rise in price of essential food products are the leading topics of today's press.

The Azerbaijan newspaper writes about the great effectiveness of reforms in the management system, as well as about successes in the social and economic sphere. The author also speaks about the important role of the Cabinet as a state body in social and economic development. The article also contains data on investing in the economy. During the first 9 months of this year, more than 11 billion manat was allocated for economic and social development. As for the countries investing in the economy of Azerbaijan, among them there are Great Britain, Turkey, Malaysia, Switzerland, Russia, Iran, Japan, the U.S.A., Czech Republic, and Norway.

The Echo newspaper published an article titled According to World Standards, Azerbaijan Should Have Ten Times More Lawyers. The civil legislation of Azerbaijan is expected to clarify the replacement of representatives in certain litigations by the Bar"s usual practice. Under the current legislation of the country, any citizen can accompany another person in court on all civil and administrative cases in the courts of the first and second instance. In this case, the accompanying person does not need to be a lawyer. However, only a member of the Bar Association can represent interests in the Supreme Court, that is, in the court of cassation in all cases, as well as in all instances of criminal and administrative cases. The day before there was an initiative that the civil legislation of the country should be added a clarification about the replacement of representatives by the usual practice of the Bar. The bill has not been published yet, but judging by the experts' opinion, now only the lawyers who are the Bar members will be able to represent the interests of citizens in the courts.

The Yeni Musavat newspaper cites the opinion of the Ministry of Agriculture, which states that the population "eats a lot." This year, imports of meat, milk, butter and dairy products have increased. The funds for the purchase of imports for 8 months of this year amounted to 97.8 million dollars, while last year for the same period USD 36 million was spent. The Ministry of Agriculture believes the increase in imports of butter is associated with the increase in its consumption by the population. The author also discusses cattle breeding and the necessary fodder base for its development. -0-