“Where have you seen a country ruled by a dead man?”

by Nathan Hamm on 3/7/2005

From Baku Today’s coverage of Elmar Huseynov’s funeral:

Several top officials from the powerful presidential administration and the country’s ruling Yeni Azerbaijan party were also seen by AFP reporters in attendance at the service.

But when one asked to make a speech he was booed down by mourners and left the premises. A number of pro-government parliamentary deputies refused to stand when the parliament held a minute of silence in Huseynov’s honor earlier on Friday, media reported.

From the BBC’s coverage (which is where the title of the post comes from):

“It’s very nice and profitable to be a journalist in Azerbaijan if you work for the state media,” an independent journalist Rustam Seyidov told the BBC.

“But if you want to tell the truth, if you want to speak up, then you are prosecuted. You get thrown into jail. You are beaten. And as we just saw – you may even get killed,” Mr Seyidov said.

Among those who addressed the crowd of mourners on Friday was the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Reno Harnish.

“Journalists are a great asset to democracy. And democracy must come to Azerbaijan,” Ambassador Harnish said.

The BBC also has a profile of Huseynov.

Azeri police and FBI agents working on the case have reported progress, but quite honestly, I have my doubts that the case will ever be fully solved even if the killers are apprehended.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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