Azerbaijani activists questioned over anti-war stance; different opinions in Baku (Updated)

Azerbaijani activists questioned over anti-war stance; different opinions in Baku (Updated)
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Opposition parties show split views on escalating tensions in the region.

Two Azerbaijani peace activists, Amrah Tahmazov and Javid Ahmadov, have reportedly been summoned by the State Security Services of Azerbaijan. Their questioning is believed to be linked to their anti-war content on social media, according to OC Media.

Meanwhile, several Azerbaijani peace activists have already spoken out against the war, as reported by the OC Media.

Political analyst and peace activist Bahruz Samadov said the goal was the ethnic cleansing of the region’s Armenian population.

‘The ultimate goal is to de-Armenianize Nagorno-Karabakh. The constant ontological insecurity that Azerbaijan preserves in [Nagorno-Karabakh] is the policy that has a destination — to destroy Nagorno-Karabakh’s agency. The same policy of blockage and bombardment already took place in the 1990s.’

He also argued that the Azerbaijani government’s use of force precluded it from being democratic.

‘Azerbaijan has once again launched an attack against Nagorno-Karabakh. Instead of dialogue, Azerbaijan still uses the strategy of force and attack. A state that sees no other way than bloodshed can never be democratic and free’, he said.

Sevinj Samadzade, another analyst and peace activist, also spoke out against what she suggested was the Azerbaijani government’s instrumentalisation of the conflict.

‘Yet another September, yet another attack by Azerbaijan under the name of anti-terror. With every “anti-terror operation” they are terrorising people of this region — our bodies, lands, resources — reminding us that war is a perpetual state of nightmare and it will not end soon.’

Peace and democracy activist Giyas Ibrahim warned that the war could also pose a risk to the Azerbaijani government.

‘In any case, this operation could be a risk even for the Azerbaijani regime if it was not requested by the Americans’, he said.

The political climate also reveals a divide in Baku on the issue of the new Azeri attack. Ali Karimli, the chairman of the Azerbaijani Popular Front, opposes the ongoing conflict. He emphasized, "To prevent a Third Karabakh War, Azerbaijani authorities must prioritize peace. Russia seems to be the major stakeholder in this conflict."

In contrast, Arif Hajili, Chairman of the Musavat Party, defends the nation's actions. He argued that it's within Azerbaijan's "sovereign right to take necessary actions based on our constitution, national laws, and international legal standards."

It should be noted that several TikTok users in Azerbaijan claim they cannot access the platform, sparking concerns about potential governmental restrictions. While no official statement has been issued regarding these access issues, some users suggest using VPNs as an alternative.