Magomed Khazbiyev, a well-known Ingush opposition figure and public activist, has been in a detention facility in the town of Karabulak since 11 January. He is being accused of illegal possession of weapons. He claims that the charges have been fabricated. His lawyers insist upon his release. Khazbiyev suffers from ulcers and skin disease. A suspect under investigation with such diseases should be released for treatment.
Since exiled Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli disappeared from Tbilisi, reappearing a day later in an Azerbaijani jail, suspicions of Georgian involvement in his kidnapping have remained. Mukhtarli himself has accused the Georgian government of complicity, and while this is a charge they deny, local rights groups are becoming impatient with the pace and transparency of the official investigation into his disappearance.
For better or worse, Turkish culture exerts a considerable influence on modern Azerbaijani youth culture. While for many films, television, music, and literature from Turkey offer a window into the wider world, some worry it is supplanting Azerbaijan’s own culture. [Read more…]
Azerbaijan is holding snap presidential elections on 11 April under a new constitution. Despite the opposition candidates not barred from or boycotting the race trying to present themselves as independent or oppositional, there is little doubt Ilham Aliyev will be reelected to a now extended term of seven more years.
On Sunday 18 March, Russia held presidential elections. OC Media’s correspondent in Daghestan, Aida Mirmaksumova, was in Makhachkala as a member of the territorial election commission. Vladimir Putin was declared the winner in the elections, with the official results giving 90.73% of votes in Daghestan to him. [Read more…]
Having moved 2,000 kilometres to a new country, a small community of Pakistanis have built a new life for themselves in Azerbaijan. Even for those who have married locals, have Azerbaijani children, and say they are Azerbaijanis themselves, obtaining official recognition for this — citizenship — is not straightforward. [Read more…]
On 14 March, the Circassian people celebrate the Day of Circassian Language and Writing. Circassian, a native language of the North Caucasus, faces many serious challenges, including a lack of official support, a divided literary standard, a decreasing interest in learning it in educational institutions, and a diminishing presence at home. [Read more…]
Some people’s hearts start to ache when they suddenly come across a photo album or an old video tape lying in dust in the corner of a cupboard. For a refugee from Abkhazia, the trigger is the word ‘war’. [Read more…]