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Azerbaijan: Dynamic blogosphere

In what is fast becoming the most dynamic blogosphere in the South Caucasus, and especially in English, Azeri bloggers continue to write poignant entries. Following the April 30 massacre of students at the Azerbaijani Oil Academy and the later detention of dozens of youth activists and bloggers, Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines updates its readers on the aftermath of the tragedy.

Its been 40 days, since a shooter named Farda Gadirov, entered the premises of the State Oil Academy, killing 12 people including himself. The investigation still continues, with no news as to the motive, those who were behind the attack as well as the exact number of those arrested.

[…] And the longer investigation lingers, the more speculations will circle around. So far, no one claimed responsibility. […]

I guess will just have to keep on waiting…

Sins Against Democracy also reflects on the protest staged soon after at a flower festival in the country's capital, Baku, while calls for a national day of mourning fell on deaf ears. The blog, however, takes a lighter look at the detentions and the fact that an innocent bystander was taken in by police simply for what she was wearing.

As it was widely known, in May 10 police detained number of young people peacefully mourning over the killings at State Oil Academy […]. It was on the ‘flowers’ day’, grandiose ‘holiday’ dedicated to the memory of former president Heydar Aliyev. I read on Nigar Fatali’s blog that among detained youngsters was a girl arrested while standing at the bus stop just because she was in black. Today, I have received an e-mail with a joke about her and want to share:

[…]

“Yesterday it was told that police detained Roma, Nigar, Zaur and others, who organized mourning procession on May 10. Police swept not only our guys, but also the innocent girl –Goth, who was in black and was waiting for a bus at the bus stop.

- I am in black, because I am a Goth! Goth! I am a Goth! – she cried while police dragged her into the car.

- What does she say? – the arm of the law said with astonishment releasing his victim from unexpectedness.

- I am a Goth! I am a Goth! –she began to shout gladly.

- She is a Russian speaker – indulgently explained the other one – she does not speak our language (Azerbaijani) well. Get into the car, daughter of a G…t, we will see at the station if you are a ‘G…t’ or something else.

(explanation for Russian speakers: ‘Got’ in Azerbaijani is ‘ass’)”

My friend says it is a famous joke now. I think stupidity and vulgarity of our police (even if it is a joke) is not funny, but a sad fact …

Meanwhile, Fighting windmills? Take a pill ponders why bloggers are often critical of the injustices faced by many in countries such as Azerbaijan and its neighbors in the region. The answer, the blogger concludes, is simple.

While reading my previous posts you've probably been wondering why am I so negative and critical about Azerbaijan. My answer is: the same reason our parents would punish us for bad behaviour – they knew we could do better.

But I must admit – there are reasons that keep me attached to this land of injustice, stubborness and stereotypes. The natural acts of love led by “want” not “must”.

[…]

So, yes, we can be stubborn, passive, childish but I know we can do better.

And I will never stop hoping for the change.

Unfortunately, however, following a ban on foreign radio broadcasts in the country earlier in the year, and with amendments to legislation concerning NGOs in the country on the cards, many are concerned that the authorities might soon turn their attention towards the Internet.

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