Azerbaijani government uses Stalin's methods - Akif Gurbanov

Azerbaijani government uses Stalin's methods - Akif Gurbanov

The speaker of the "Third Republican Platform", Akif Gurbanov, who was arrested in the "Toplum TV" case, responded to the accusations against him by the media in his speech at the Baku court of appeal.

His speech was published on the Facebook account of the "Third Republican Platform", which is published with abbreviations.

Gurbanov stated that he had been arrested, although he had not committed any violations and had done nothing against society and the country.

"Using these repressions, the authorities not only physically punish and persecute us, but also use the slander to discredit us," he said.

One of the main methods of the authorities is to keep society at bay, and turn corruption and arbitrariness into a way of life themselves.

"They don't think about what will happen tomorrow and only rely on violence, money and lies, trying to deceive people. At the same time, they are much concerned about the public's trust in the opposition. Therefore, they are trying to humiliate their opponents with the dirtiest methods," he said.

"They arrested not only me, but also my friends who have nothing to do with the public work. This was done in order to intimidate our environment and society as a whole, so that no one in the future would have a desire to argue with the authorities."

Gurbanov claims that the articles published in the pro-government media about him and those arrested in this case are dirty lies.

"None of the "facts" and "figures" mentioned in these articles, broadcasts and videos are true. This is a political order of the Presidential Administration," Gurbanov said, listing the media that distributed these materials.

In particular, Gurbanov categorically denies the fact that they received illegal income.

"For example, it is noted that tens of thousands of money were deposited into my bank accounts and Alesker Mammadli, and we received or used them illegally. Those who write this and those who publish it are brazenly and shamelessly lying to society.

For many years, we have received funds to these accounts on the basis of a service agreement, carried out all government payments, including taxes," said the speaker of the "Third Republican Platform".

"I openly declare that all the property that I and my family have was purchased in 2019. I have not purchased any real estate since 2019. The source of income is open. As a member of the Central Election Commission from 2006 to 2016, I received high salaries and bonuses from the state budget.

I also received income on the basis of a service agreement since 2015 as an individual. At the same time, my wife has been working in international organizations since 2006, and receives a fairly high salary. Government agencies are well aware of this," Gurbanov said.

According to him, Azerbaijan is now governed by the method of Stalin and his NKVD.

"Just as Stalin gave a directive and demanded recognition at all costs, the NKVD carried it out. Stalin demanded that materials "proving" the guilt of "enemies of the people" be published in the newspapers "Pravda" and "Izvestia", and then announced that all these bad people would be shot. Now the same approach is being applied here in independent Azerbaijan," Gurbanov said, citing as an example a number of media outlets that are supported by the authorities and publish lampoons about him and his colleagues.

At the same time, Akif Gurbanov urges to disclose the incomes of the country's leaders and their families and inform the public, those who continue to steal and deceive their people.

In turn, the official structures have not yet commented on the issues raised by Akif Gurbanov in his speech.

*Akif Gurbanov was detained on March 6, 2024 as a part of the "Toplum TV" case. On March 8, the Khatai district court arrested him for 4 months.

Recall that Alesker Mammadli, founder of the "Toplum TV" website; Ruslan Izzatli, member of the "Third Republican Platform"; Mushfiq Jabbar, editor of the "Toplum TV"; Ramil Babayev, Ilkin Amrakhov and Ali Zeynal, employees of the Institute of Democratic Initiatives, were also detained.

All were accused of illegal cooperation with foreign donors and currency smuggling.

International organizations, including the US State Department, have called on the Azerbaijani authorities to release those unjustly arrested.

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