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Azerbaijan: Information about the village of Murselli, including information about arranged marriages, domestic violence, honour crimes, polygamy and attitude toward divorce; gender preferences for children; and the religion practised by a majority of the inhabitants of Murselli (1994-2010)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Publication Date 7 December 2010
Citation / Document Symbol AZE103646.FE
Related Document Azerbaïdjan : information sur le village de Murselli, y compris sur les mariages arrangés, la violence conjugale, les crimes d'honneur, la polygamie et l'attitude face au divorce; les préférences quant au sexe de la descendance et la religion pratiquée par la majorité des habitants de Murselli (1994-2010)
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Azerbaijan: Information about the village of Murselli, including information about arranged marriages, domestic violence, honour crimes, polygamy and attitude toward divorce; gender preferences for children; and the religion practised by a majority of the inhabitants of Murselli (1994-2010), 7 December 2010, AZE103646.FE, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/513461142.html [accessed 28 December 2014]
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.

Two sources consulted by the Research Directorate stated that a majority of the inhabitants of Murselli, a village in the Sabirabad region in central Azerbaijan, are Muslim (Azerbaijan 22 Nov. 2010a; Azerbaijan 22 Nov. 2010b).

Information about spousal violence, arranged marriages, polygamy and the attitude toward divorce in Murselli, or about gender preferences for children was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

In a 22 November 2010 telephone interview with the Research Directorate, a representative of the Mission of Azerbaijan to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris stated that there is domestic violence in Murselli. However, according to the representative, it is difficult to provide figures and details because of the isolation of the village (Azerbaijan 22 Nov. 2010a). In a 22 November 2010 telephone interview with the Research Directorate, a representative of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg stated that spousal violence in Murselli is not often reported because victims and their families and friends remain silent. The representative added that it is difficult to estimate the number of victims of domestic violence accurately, in particular because of the shame they feel and [translation] "threats within the community" (Azerbaijan 22 Nov. 2010b). According to the representative,witnesses in these cases generally do not come forward and deaths are classified as accidents or suicides (ibid.).

Two sources consulted by the Research Direction stated that there are arranged marriages in Murselli, but that it is difficult to estimate how many (Azerbaijan 22 Nov. 2010a; ibid. 22 Nov. 2010b). The representative of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg stated that there are also instances of polygamy, but that they are rarely reported (ibid.). However, according to the country profile for Azerbaijan that accompanies the 2009 Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI), published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), polygamy is illegal in Azerbaijan (OCDE n.d.). Regarding divorce, the representative stated that most cases are dealt with within the family rather than in the courts (Azerbaijan 22 Nov. 2010b).

Regarding gender preferences for children, the representative of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe stated that, as in other rural communities in the country, custom and tradition mean that the inhabitants of Murselli generally prefer boys to girls (22 Nov. 2010b). However, more and more families are starting to change how they view girls, because a majority of girls achieve high levels of education and find jobs that enable them to support their families (Azerbaijan 22 Nov. 2010b).

Information about honour crimes in Murselli could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

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 for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Azerbaijan. 22 November 2010a. Mission of Azerbaijan to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Telephone interview with a representative.

_____. 22 November 2010b. Permanent Representation of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe. Telephone interview with a representative.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). N.d. "Social Institutions and Gender Index" (SIGI). "Gender Equality and Social Institutions in Azerbaijan." [Accessed 18 Nov. 2010]

Additional sources consulted

Oral sources: Attempts to reach representatives at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the National Information Center on Human Rights (NICHR) in Bakou were unsuccessful.

Internet sites, including: Amnesty International (AI), Azerbaijan Gender Information Centre (AGIC), Azerbaijan Human Rights Center (AHRC), Child Rights Information Network (CRIN), Council of Europe, Crime and Society: A Comparative Criminology Tour of the World, Educational Center for Youth (ECY), Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme (FIDH), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Freedom House, Genre en action, Human Rights House Network, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Education International (EI), Legislationline, Le Monde diplomatique [Paris], Minority Rights Group International (MRG), National Information Center on Human Rights (NICHR), Open Society Institute (OSI), Radio France internationale (RFI), Reporters sans frontières (RSF), Trend News Agency, United Nations — World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

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 http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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