On the evening of March 19, Azerbaijan’s former Minister of Defense Rahim Gaziyev was detained by police [Azadliq Newspaper report, in Azerbaijani] in Baku and taken to the Interior Ministry’s Dept. Against Organized Crime. Gaziyev was detained as he traveled to RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Bureau to do an interview [RFE/RL report, in Azerbaijani]. Several people forced him into a car near the Construction and Architecture University. Gaziyev was released several hours later. He told Azadlig Newspaper that he was warned against making more statements like those he has made recently to the press, although cheap viagra canadian pharmacy law enforcement officers in the Dept. Against Organized Crime claimed the legal reason for his detention was that he did not obey police [RFE/RL report, in Azerbaijani]. According to Azadlig Newspaper, Gaziyev was told “You are
writing letters here and there, just sit peacefully.” After this warning, he was held in a jail cell for two more hours and then released. Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Interior issued a statement [Trend.az] on March 20, claiming that Gaziyev was arrested because he stumbled upon the site of a police operation to arrest an armed criminal. At this location, Gaziyev failed to obey police and expressed discontent. On March 18, the local press published a open letter [text courtesy of Contact.az, in Azerbaijani] Gaziyev
wrote to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. In the letter, Gaziyev very critically discusses mismanagement in Aliyev’s government. In particular, speaking about the recent non-combat soldier deaths in Azerbaijan, Gaizyev urges the President to imagine the deceased soldiers were his own son, and criticizes Aliyev for his inactivity on this issue as the country’s commander and chief of the armed forces. Gaziyev served as Azerbaijan’s Minister of Defense from March 1992 to February 1993. In 1995, in connection with events occurring in Shusha during the Nagorno-Karabakh war, Gaziyev was convicted on charges of treason and sentenced to death. This sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He received a presidential pardon in 2005. Gaziyev was born in 1943 and is originally from Sheki, Azerbaijan. Reports and Commentary: Rəhim Qazıyevdən İlham Əliyevə şok məktub. Contact.az, March 18, 2013. Задержан экс-министр обороны Рагим Газиев. Contact.az, March 19, 2013. Rəhim Qazıyevi polis saxlayıb. RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service, March 19, 2013. Rəhim Qazıyevi “bandotdel”ə aparıb hədələdilər. Azadlig Newspaper, March 20, 2013. Рагим Газиев был задержан в связи с выступлениями в прессе. Contact.az, March 20, 2013. Rəhim Qazıyev sərbəst buraxıldı [Yenilənib]. RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service, March 20, 2013. Azerbaijani Interior Ministry clarifies issue on detention of former defense minister. Trend News Agency, March 20, 2013.