Bulldozers in Baku

Tenement houses in the centre of the capital city of Azerbaijan are being demolished. Authorities need land for office buildings.

According to “Gazeta Wyborcza” Ilham Alijew, the lord of Azerbaijan, wants to turn Baku into Dubai of the Caspian Region. Bulldozers have entered the city centre and, often illegally, destroy homes and possessions of residents.

The operation is aimed mainly at the most attractive building lots in the very heart of the city centre. They are ultimately intended for the construction of modern office buildings which will planned to become the showcase of the Baku’s downtown. The dispossessed residents are offered either emergency lodgings or financial compensations. However, as the daily points out, the damages do not meet the value of the properties that are being taken over by the state.

The destruction of the tenement house where founders of 3 human rights opposing parties, Leyla and Arif Yunus, had lived and worked, arouse strong concern. The demolition was conducted against the earlier judicial sentence. The owners, who at that time were abroad, did not have a chance to take their furniture, valuables and documents from the demolished tenement house. The destruction, which was conducted late in the evening, was heavily criticised by the New York based Human Rights Watch and the European Union – indicates the newspaper.

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