The week of January 24-28 saw the publication of the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index, the trial of ex-chief executive Vilyam Hajiyev accused of bribery and activist Aziz Mamiyev taken to the police station after publishing a TikTok video.
2021 Corruption Perceptions Index: Azerbaijan scores 30 points and ranks 128 out of 180 countries
Transparency International released this week its 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index. With 30 points on a 100-points scale, Azerbaijan is together with Djibouti, Togo, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Laos and Paraguay in the 128th position.
The index, which covers 180 countries and territories, identifies corruption in the public sector. The yearly assessment is carried out based on data from the World Bank, the World Economic Forum and consulting companies. The lower the score, the higher the level of corruption in a given country.
Vilyam Hajiyev: “My arrest is ordered”
Vilyam Hajiyev, who was the chief executive of three different Azerbaijani regions between 2004 and 2020, claimed during his trial that he was arrested on a warrant. He called accusations of embezzlement and bribery of millions a slander.
The trial was held on January 24 in the Baku Court of Grave Crimes. Hajiyev was indicted for bribery, large-scale embezzlement, abuse of power and illegal possession of weapons. He denies all charges.
A wave of arrests of chief executives in Azerbaijan began in December 2020 with the arrest of former Yevlakh mayor Goja Samedlov. Statements issued by the State Tax Inspectorate claim that during their tenure, the mayors misappropriated millions from the budget allocated for construction and improvement works in the regions, and received large bribes from citizens.
Activist summoned to the police after publishing a TikTok video criticizing the government
Aziz Mamiyev, an activist of the Youth Organization of the Musavat Party, was summoned to the Baku Main Police Department on January 24 for publishing a video in the social media platform TikTok in which he criticizes the government.
Mamiyev affirms that he was taken to the Chief of the Criminal Investigation Department and was told to be careful and not to curse President Ilham Aliyev on social media. The involved policemen then showed him his post on TikTok.
After a preventive talk, Mamiyev was warned and released. He believes that the call to the police is politically motivated and he considers it as a violation of his freedom of expression.
The Azerbaijani Interior Ministry spokesman Elshad Hajiyev confirmed that Aziz Mamiyev was summoned to the Baku Main Police Office, however, he did not comment on the details of the incident.