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Azerbaijan: Protection available to those fearing organized criminal gang members; protection provided to ethnic minorities who fear organized crime gangs

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 10 January 2003
Citation / Document Symbol AZE40445.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Azerbaijan: Protection available to those fearing organized criminal gang members; protection provided to ethnic minorities who fear organized crime gangs, 10 January 2003, AZE40445.E, available at: [accessed 28 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Reports of Azerbaijanis or members of other ethnic groups requesting protection from organized crime, or the state's response to such requests, were not found among the sources consulted for this Response.

Although, legislative and administrative bodies directed to combat organized crime exist, their effectiveness is questioned as reports point to widespread corruption in Azerbaijan society (Bagirov 2 Oct. 2002, 1) including within the judiciary (Country Reports 4 Mar. 2002) and among the police (TURAN 13 Sept. 2002). In 2000, Azerbaijan's Minister of Internal Affairs referred to the "Fight Against Organized Crime, Combating Terrorism, Illegal Traffic in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursors," and "State Protection of Persons Involved in Criminal Proceedings" as crime prevention legislation meeting the requirements of international conventions and aiding in the fight against organized crime (UN 15 Apr. 2000, 3). In addition to police, Azerbaijan has a special investigative division of the Ministry of the Interior variously called the Department for Combating Organized Crimes (TURAN 22 Apr. 2002; ibid. 22 July 2002; ibid. 14 Nov. 2001; ibid. 28 Aug. 2001), the Administration Against Organized Crime (IHF 23 Oct. 1998) and the Department for Organized Crime Prevention (Azernews 5 June 2002). Until 20 July 2002, Madat Quliyev headed this department (TURAN 22 July 2002).

Law enforcement efforts in fighting organized crime were claimed effective in a December 2001 TURAN article when Quliyev stated that the Interior Ministry had detained 628 organized crime groups between 1995 and the first eleven months of 2001 (TURAN 21 Dec. 2001). In a February 2002 Zerkalo interview, the Lieutenant-General of Azerbaijan's police, Maharram Aliyev, reported decrease incidences of "gangsterism" as a result of successful police investigations (16 Feb. 2002).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Azernews [Baku]. 5 June 2002. No. 22 (256). "Unrest in Baku Suburb Leaves One Dead, Dozens Injured." [Accessed 9 Jan. 2003]

Bagirov, Sabit. 2 October 2002. "Anti-Corruption Efforts in Azerbaijan." Presentation at the Balkan/Black Sea Anti-Corruption Workshop at the Center for the Study of Democracy, Sofia, Bulgaria, 1-3 October 2002. [Accessed 7 Jan. 2003]

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2001. 4 March 2002. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 7 Jan. 2003]

International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF). 23 October 1998. Annual Report 1998. "Azerbaijan." [Accessed 9 Jan. 2003]

TURAN (Baku, in Russian). 13 September 2002. "Azerbaijan: President ‘Regrets' Police Bribery." (FBIS-SOV-2002-0913 13 Sept. 2002/WNC)

_____. 22 July 2002. "Azerbaijan: National Hero Appointed New Drug Squad Chief." (FBIS-SOV-2002-0722 22 July 2002/WNC)

_____. 22 April 2002. "Azerbaijani Opposition Parties Condemn Arrest of Party Activists." (FBIS-SOV-2002-0422 22 Apr. 2002/WNC)

_____. 21 December 2001. "Azeri Police Chief Says 612 Gangs Detained Over Past Five Years." (BBC Worldwide Monitoring 25 Dec. 2002/NEXIS)

_____. 14 November 2001. "Azerbaijan: Two Nephews of Azerbaijani Opposition Leader Arrested." (FBIS-SOV-2001-1114 14 Nov. 2001/WNC)

_____. 28 August 2001. "Police Detain Suspect in Attack on Police Station in North Azerbaijan." (FBIS-SOV-2001-0829 28 Aug. 2001/WNC)

United Nations. 15 April 2000. Criminal Justice Information Network. Address by H.E. Mr. Ramil Usubov, Head of the Delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Minister of Internal Affairs, at the Tenth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders. [Accessed 8 Jan. 2003]

Zerkalo [Internet version, in Russian]. Sh. Aliyev. "Azerbaijan: Maharram Aliyev Examines Baku Crime Issues, Police Performance." (FBIS-SOV-2002-0228 16 Feb. 2002/WNC)

Additional Sources Consulted


Unsuccessful attempt to contact the Institute of Peace and Democracy, Baku, Azerbaijan

Internet sites, including:

Anti-Corruption Gateway to Europe and Eurasia

AssA-Irada (Baku)

Azerbaijan International

Azerbaijan. Interior Ministry (Google cached version)

Bribe Payers Index, Transparency International

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe



Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Transnational Crime and Corruption Centre

United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Initiative (UNICRI)

United States Embassy in Baku

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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