Tofig Yagublu was detained. Why do arrests occur? - Seymour Hazi in a "Difficult question"
Baku/15.12.23/Turan: Tofik Yagublu, a prominent member of the National Council and the Musavat party, was detained by officers of the Narimanov district Police Department, while his place of residence was searched. The arrest turned into a controversial story, as Yagublu's daughter, Nigar Khazi, said on Facebook that operatives planted money during the search, claiming: "Money was 'found' in our house. They threw 5,000 euros, 2,500 manats and a certain amount of dollars." Subsequently, it turned out that Yagubl was charged with fraud and forgery of documents.
Agi Lajidj's lawyer confirmed the initiation of a criminal case against Yagublu under articles 178.3.2 (fraud causing major damage) and 320.1 (Forgery or illegal production of an identity card or other official document granting rights or relieving of duties, for the purpose of its use or sale of such a document, as well as the manufacture for the same purpose or sale of counterfeit state awards of the Republic of Azerbaijan, stamps, seals, letterheads). Refraining from delving into the details of the case, Laige hinted at similarities with the so-called "emigrant trade."
Yagublu categorically denies the charges, explaining his arrest by his political activities. His lawyer claims that Yagublu was detained as a suspect, not an accused. However, Seymour Khazi, deputy chairman of the PFPA and a member of the Yagublu family, makes a scathing comment about the unfolding events.
According to Khazi, the surge in arrests in Azerbaijan is perceived as a political massacre organized by the Kremlin. He claims that the Azerbaijani government, cooperating with the Kremlin, attacks democratic institutions, politicians and activists. What the opposition, including Yagubla, has long accused the authorities of — corruption and fraud — is now being indiscriminately brought against them.
Khazi expands the context, noting that the wave of repression began months earlier and covered not only journalists and public activists, but also members of the PFPA. He attributes the intensification of these actions to Azerbaijan's geopolitical reorientation towards Central Asia.
The oppositionist claims that the change of the government's political course, announced during the summit of the Central Asian countries in Azerbaijan, marked the beginning of repression. The official announcement was preceded by administrative arrests, followed by criminal charges. Khazi suggests that Azerbaijan's disinterest in joining the EU, unlike neighboring countries such as Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, highlights this discrepancy.
Contrary to this, President Ilham Aliyev said today that Azerbaijan's foreign policy does not include the goal of joining the EU. Despite the fact that the South Caucasus lies within the political borders of the EU, Khazi argues that the purpose of the ongoing repression is to signal a departure from the Western narrative, illustrating the regional and global split in the South Caucasus.
To sum up, it can be said that the unfolding political drama in Azerbaijan, characterized by arrests and accusations, is seen by critics as a deliberate step to assert a special geopolitical identity, challenging Western norms and closer rapprochement with the Kremlin's sphere of influence.