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#WashingtonPost: Azerbaijan’s president aims to finish off political opposition

#WashingtonPost: Azerbaijan’s president aims to finish off political opposition
166
Thursday, 30 July, 2020, 15:00

One of the leading American publications, the Washington Post, published an editorial on July 29 sharply criticizing Ilham Aliyev's policy of suppressing opposition in the country. It reads as follows:“Iljam Aliyev has blown a gasket. The president of Azerbaijan has never looked kindly on independent journalists or dissidents. The February parliamentary elections were deemed by international observers to be devoid of real political competition. Now, in the midst of the pandemic, low oil prices and tensions with archrival Armenia, Mr. Aliyev has suddenly discovered a ‘fifth column’ of enemies, the political opposition, and has begun throwing them in jail. Mr. Aliyev’s tantrum is threatening to obliterate what remains of independent political forces in Azerbaijan.In a speech to the nation on the Novruz holiday in March, Mr. Aliyev pledged to combat the coronavirus pandemic. He said Azerbaijan was being undermined by ‘the enemies who are among us, the elements calling themselves opposition, the traitors who receive money from abroad. Their main goal is to destroy Azerbaijan.’ The president said that during the pandemic, ‘the isolation of representatives of the fifth column will become a historical necessity.’