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Baku's Busy Traffic Police


This video by RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service was filmed on December 31. The video shows traffic police officers stopping cars in Baku and seemingly -- some might say unashamedly -- taking bribes from numerous drivers.

The officers don't appear to spend any time checking drivers' documents. Each exchange lasts but a few seconds.

On the same day, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev -- in his New Year's address to the nation -- talked at length about his government's "fierce fight against corruption."

Last year, the government declared a national antigraft campaign.

Kamran Aliyev, an inspector in the Traffic Police Department, told RFE/RL that more than 30 traffic cops have been dismissed for corruption-related violations since then. He said an investigation has been launched into the violations allegedly shown on the video.

Interior Minister Ramil Usubov declared last year that 798 police officers had been punished over the previous three and a half years for violating citizens' rights. Some 14 police officers were charged with criminal offenses, while 36 officers were demoted.

-- Central Newsroom

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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