What’s happening in Azerbaijan?

May 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm Leave a comment

Severe flooding from the Kura river has left more than 20,000 people homeless in the Sabirabad District, 100 km southwest of Baku, near the confluence of the Kura and Araz rivers. Flooding continues despite efforts to curb it. The Ministry of Agriculture estimates the damage done so far at $62.5 million. This means that there may be fewer delicious water melons this summer since many are grown in this region. Fortunately, it seems the government of Azerbaijan has made a praise worthy effort to help the displaced, by providing them with shelter, food, medical care and emergency rescues. “Thank goodness! The government has created good conditions,” said 48-year-old Vasilya Chakhalova, who fled with her husband and four children from the village of Alambayli on the night of May 10.

Read more here.

In other news, the government continues to attack freedom of speech by trying to censor the online media through the use of licenses. At the present time, the internet is the most practical medium for Azerbaijani people in attaining news (not propaganda) as television and radio stations are limited to government sponsored programming. Over a third of the population uses the internet in Azerbaijan and usage continues to grow.

“There is no doubt, electronic media should be under control … It is not permitted that everyone can say whatever comes into his mind, something against the state or pornographic materials. Therefore, a legal framework should be established in order to prevent illegal activities” – President Aliyev

Read more here.

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