Controversy surrounding commemorations for the 1992 Khojaly Massacre, which took place during the Nagorno-Karabakh War, has crept its way into Georgia. Despite a long record of peaceful coexistence between Georgia’s Armenian and Azerbaijani communities, a campaign calling for recognition of the tragedy as genocide has provoked indignation from activists.
Eighty-eight percent of eligible voters — 69 540 people — in the de facto Republic of Nagorno Karabakh voted to approve draft constitutional reforms in a referendum on 20 February. Once the results come into force, Karabakh will transition into a presidential system of government, and will change its name to the Republic to Artsakh.
Elchin Ismayilli, a journalist residing and working in the Ismayilli District of Azerbaijan, was arrested on 17 February charged with extortion, committed repeatedly, and abuse of power. Ismayilli denies the accusations and says his detention is connected to his work as a journalist.
Polls have opened in a referendum to amend the constitution of the de facto Republic of Nagorno Karabakh. If approved, the changes would create a presidential system of government, and change the name of the breakaway republic to Artsakh.
Georgia ranks 13th in the world in economic freedom, according to the Index of Economic Freedom, an annual guide published by conservative American think-tank the Heritage Foundation. Meanwhile, Armenia came 33rd, Azerbaijan 68th, with Russia lagging behind at 113th, the third worst in Europe. Countries were scored from 0 to 100 in 12 components of economic freedom, with the average scores making up the country’s final ‘economic freedom score’.
Amnesty International has called on the authorities of Azerbaijan to immediately release popular blogger Aleksandr Lapshin. In a statement released by the rights group on 10 February, they claim that he faces ‘torture’ and an ‘unfair trial’, and has been refused permission to contact his wife.
Daghestan’s Interior Ministry Migration Service detained about 200 Azerbaijani nationals in the city of Derbent on 9 February, in order to inspect their work permits.
Women in Georgia very often lack a voice of their own. Their opinions, feelings, dreams, aspirations, and achievements can be conveyed by others, often the men around them. The Women in Georgia project gives a voice to these women, allowing them to tell their own stories — in their own words. The project collected 150 distinct stories from women throughout the country. Over the next few months, OC Media will bring you a selection of these stories, translated into English and Russian. Below, in her own words, is Shalala’s story.
Popular blogger Aleksandr Lapshin was arrested in Belarus and extradited to Azerbaijan following his visits to the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.