Hey, it was brought to my attention that an article appears in today's on-line edition of the Times...don't know if it made the print paper...but since I am not able to follow the news here I was not aware of the donkey issue. Check it out..and also check out the video on YouTube..I think it is funny http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/world/asia/15azerbaijan.html?hpw
but I guess the Azeri government doesn't agree.
There have been other instances of government intervening...radio broadcasts eliminated from Europe and BBC and arrests of protestors...though you don't hear much about it..and most people even the progessive here at the Academy support the government.
Sometime all the more reason for me to keep a low profile. PS..this is what the US State Dept says....
Azerbaijan Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Advancing Freedom and Democracy Reports, May 2009
Part 1: Political and Human Rights Conditions
Azerbaijan is a republic with a presidential form of government. The president dominates the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. The government's human rights record remains poor and worsened in some areas in 2008. The government restricted the public's right to peacefully change the government in the presidential election, although there were improvements in some technical aspects of election administration. Torture and beating of persons in police and military custody resulted in three deaths in 2008, and security forces continue to act with impunity. Prison conditions, despite improvements in infrastructure, generally remain harsh and life threatening. Arbitrary arrest and detention, particularly of individuals considered by the government to be political opponents, and lengthy pretrial detention continue. The government imprisons persons for politically motivated reasons. There is pervasive corruption, including in the judiciary and in law enforcement. Restrictions on freedom of assembly continue. Restrictions on media freedom and political participation worsened in 2008, notably through the removal of Voice of America, Radio Liberty, and the BBC from FM frequencies. The government imposes restrictions on the activities of some Christian and Muslim religious groups. Cases of violence against women have been reported. Cases of trafficking in persons continue, although the government has taken some modest steps to address the problem.