Saturday, August 27, 2016


Criticism Of President Provokes E-Mail Avalanche From Azerbaijan

The OCCRP cites extensive reports and "well-documented evidence" that the family of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev "has been systematically grabbing shares of the most profitable businesses" in Azerbaijan for many years.
The OCCRP cites extensive reports and "well-documented evidence" that the family of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev "has been systematically grabbing shares of the most profitable businesses" in Azerbaijan for many years.
By Robert Coalson
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) publishes dozens of juicy stories every year.

But very few of them generate the kind of response the group has received this month after naming Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev corruption's "person of the year" for 2012.

"There has been a coordinated attempt to spam us with a significant amount of e-mails," says Drew Sullivan, the editor at OCCRP, an investigative-journalism NGO based in Sarajevo and Bucharest. "Most of them are very similar [and] seem to follow a format or a couple different formats. I have received approximately 4,000 of them."

RFE/RL, which covered the original story on January 2, has also been targeted by the spam attack, receiving a similar amount of mail.

The spam assault seems to be part of a stepped-up effort by Aliyev supporters -- possibly prompted by the Azeribaijan government -- to take control of the narrative about Azerbaijan on the Internet, analysts and activists say.

Most of the messages received by OCCRP and RFE/RL are signed and appear to come from real individuals. However, for the most part they contain very similar messages in English, Azeri, or Russian. OCCRP computer specialist Dan O'Huiginn estimates that 5-10 percent of the messages are from automated servers (bots), while the rest seem to be cut and pasted or forwarded by actual people.

The messages do not address the specifics of the corruption charges against Aliyev and his family but rather state that Azerbaijani citizens love their president and are impressed with the progress the country has made since gaining independence.

'Upclassing Of Our Country'

Azerbaijani blogger Hebib Muntezir reported on January 15 that the Education Ministry had issued a directive to teachers and students urging them to send complaining e-mails to OCCRP and RFE/RL. The ministry's message, which Muntezir also posted online, included sample complaints in Azeri, Russian, and broken English, as well as the e-mail addresses to which the messages should be sent.

The addresses provided in the alleged instruction from the Education Ministry that Muntezir posted were the ones that received the spam, and many of the received messages contained one or more of the proposed sample letters.

The suggested English message says:

"It was very upset, having read information on our president on a site Because, all of us are happy with works on development and an upclassing of our country."

The spam campaign may be part of a broader effort by pro-government forces in Azerbaijan to bolster their presence online.

"In Azerbaijan, essentially most of political life now takes place on Facebook," says Katy Pearce, assistant professor of communication at the University of Washington who studies the use of Internet technologies in the former Soviet Union. "Because, as most people know, there is very little room for freedom of expression in real life, so to speak. So the Azerbaijani political Facebook world is very, very active."

Until recently, Pearce says, the Azerbaijani opposition had the virtual realm almost to itself, but over the last year or 18 months she has seen an increasingly organized phalanx of pro-government youths posting on Facebook, Twitter, and other social-media sites. She notes that they have been using very aggressive tactics, including spamming the walls of opposition-minded Azerbaijanis and flagging their posts as "offensive" and asking Facebook to remove them.

Suspicious Tweets

One of the people targeted by such online campaigns was RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service correspondent Khadija Ismayilova, who also cooperates with OCCRP.

Khadija IsmayilovaKhadija Ismayilova
Khadija Ismayilova
Khadija Ismayilova
Ismayilova has written many of the investigative reports into corruption by Aliyev and his family that were the basis of OCCRP's decision to name Aliyev corruption's "person of the year."

Pearce has been studying the patterns of pro-government posts on Twitter regarding a recent protest in Baku and how those posts intersected with the campaigns against Ismayilova. She found that many of the tweets came from recently created accounts that had very few contacts on Twitter and had posted very few tweets in the past.

In her analyses of these patterns on Twitter, Pearce said she believes it is likely the messages were either sent by one person logging into multiple accounts or that an automated program was connected to multiple accounts.

"Most of the evidence points to some sort of organized campaign to use Twitter accounts to post the same message over and over again," she says. "And if there are actual real people behind those accounts, I can't tell."

OCCRP editor Sullivan agrees that the latest spam campaign out of Azerbaijan is something new. He says the organization's many previous reports on corruption in the country were soundly ignored by the authorities.

However, he adds that the current spam campaign is a mere "annoyance" that will not affect the OCCRP's work.

"We get lots of much more negative responses to our work," Sullivan says. "It is a slight annoyance, but we can set filters to move most of this out. It is too bad. We would love to hear from the people of Azerbaijan if it was real. We just suspect from the way that this is written that these are not real people with real concerns. This seems to be somewhat of a bullying tactic. And that's not going to work."
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
January 23, 2013 12:22
You,bloody ungrateful westerners,stop criticizing our goody good Arshin-mal-alan- Sultan giving you so much cheap petrol,the best child brides money can buy and the yummiest free caviar you cant buy anywhere.We all love our Ali Babaliev and his whole gang of azeri kgb stooges and we all wish we had the chance to give him our greatest love of all in person if we had the chance.However there is a big waiting list and it will take some time to do it so we wish Allah will give our 4-in-1 Sultan-Eunuch-Grand Vizier-Prezident at least a 1000 year for his Reich to shine his divine light on all of us.

by: Chingiz from: London
January 23, 2013 12:43
Or, it's like minded people, re-posting messages with which they agree. It's not so unusual and quite common on all social platforms.

I don't see why you would interpret it otherwise. Either way we will likely never know, but assumptions don't serve anyone.
In Response

by: Danny from: SF, CA
January 24, 2013 06:30
do you really honestly believe these might be actual people re-posting messages? you are either too naive or... too naive to believe other would buy your 'speculations'
In Response

by: Chingiz from: London
January 24, 2013 15:39
No, I do not believe that, nor do I believe anything without evidence. I am just playing devil's advocate here. As of now, and until some concrete evidence emerges, both sides of the argument are mere assumptions and it would be foolish to believe either position.

However, as Ali rightly pointed out, the 'expert' in question is not objective. Hence, if we know that the 'expert' is biased to one side of this argument, then it is possible that the "expert opinion" is also biased, but again, we need concrete evidence which so far has not been presented.

In Response

by: King from: Moscow
January 25, 2013 08:16
THERE ARE NO ARMENIANS HERE POSTING! The most favorite tactic of the pro-Aliev team is to turn every corruption discussion into an "armenian" forum, it's a very primitive well-known trick, that is suppose to divert people's attention from the real issue into a shouting match of insults towards "armenian" posters.
In Response

by: Bakuvian from: Baku
January 25, 2013 14:11
Here's the proof that it's been an organized campaign. These papers were distributed among teaching stuff in Azeri schools.

by: Ali from: Baltimore
January 23, 2013 15:15
Katy Pearce is a strange choice for an "expert", considering her long-term ties to the Armenian lobby. RFERL might have as well asked for commentary from ANCA or even Armenian embassy.

Also, calling the email campaign as "spam campaign" is quite ridiculous - if the campaign was on a specific subject that the organization published about, it is not spam. One cannot call all unwanted or mass emails as "spam". If one publishes something, he/she cannot call even 4,000 responses sent by real people as "spam".
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
January 24, 2013 01:01
Ya lets turn these into Armenian thing, the usual defense tactic of Turks, ops i mean the other turks...
In Response

by: Danny from: SF, CA
January 24, 2013 06:32
of course - those vile Armenians - they are everywhere! guess who is "ridiculous" ;)
In Response

by: Chingiz from: London
January 24, 2013 15:59
Well in a sense yes. We know for a fact that the Armenian Diaspora hold extreme views in relation to Azerbaijan and the NK issue, likewise we know that Armenia is heavily financially reliant on the Armenian Diaspora. Also, we know that the Armenians are some of the most dispersed peoples on the planet (3 million in Armenian, over 8 million worldwide) and we know they have a heavy lobbying presence in many countries. Therefore, in a very realistic sense, they are everywhere ;)

In fact, just this week, the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center (ESISC) concluded that the Armenian Lobby plays a major role in the enmity relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, their worldwide lobbying efforts work to the detriment of Azerbaijan, and these include isolating Azerbaijan from international assistance, propaganda campaigns to depict Azerbaijan as a pariah state in Europe, the list goes on.

All this info is freely available online, feel free to look it up.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
January 24, 2013 21:52
Well well well Chenghiz khan has learned his excellent english in the Ulan Bator high school and has gone from Mongolia to London,specializing in BS BW.You are right,my sweet talking mongol,armenians are much displaced people and I wouldnt like to be in the shoes of those who displaced them when they return to their fatherland-most sweet turkey talkers will make excellent toilet attendants with their long experience in servicing Ali Baba bottoms.It will happen in less than 10 years,which means you still have time to fall on your knees-your favourite position-repent,renounce your allahtan falacies and start anew!!!
In Response

by: Ara Doganian from: Hayastan, LA, USA
January 25, 2013 12:19
Exactly like my esteemed bactrian brother has said! He may have a personal hump or two with Azeri sultanate, but he speaks on behalf of all peoples who have run away from their corrupt home lands and are more interested in sacrificing the kin they left behind through wild notions of primordial revenge! Who says you need to be in the nation to be one of its nationalists! We will resurrect Tigranes the Great right from LA and our great nations leader the ball Sackisyan will ride the Tigranes mummy right in to the heart of our ancient home land, and all the sultanates’ minions who don’t belong there will flee back to the lands they left nigh 800 years ago and there will be nothing but happiness and prosperity just like our homeland now! The only mistake my esteemed bactrian brother has made is that this will not happen in 10 years, but as soon as tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, it’s only a day away!
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
January 25, 2013 14:32
Dear Sara `Doganian`,my dearest shamerican hawk-thats the meaning of dogan in your language,congrats on your disparaging of the Camel personnae,actually I am the Wandering Jew from Palestine and I wonder what crime have you committed,so that God to have punished you the way he did???So,here are a few facts they didnt teach you in your BS BW PR school of talking turkey.Armenians didnt run away from they corrupt homelands,as you and your Chenghiz alter ego suggest-they were forcibly resettled,relocated,or just plaily murdered for centuries from a multitude of highly civilized arabs mongols turkic russian pacifist peace lovers like you.The present corruption in their homelands comes from the greedy egomaniacal interests of the super duper powers who have sacrificed millions of people for their material interests,they are doing it now and they will do it until Kingdom Come,hoping that hell will freeze over when they get into their fire furnace.Alas,it wont.Nice to see the WASPs who killed millions of injun savages have turned into such great pacifists with their bleeding heart concern for human rights. Now all humanity can rest assured with your 24 hour a day peace efforts,but dont waste your time writing these glorious posts-we`ve been waiting for the NATO boyz and galz to bomb some sense into the syrians for a long long time.The Persians are also waiting for their share of shamerican peace love and understanding,so do it !!! Its now or never !!! Tomorrow will be late !!! Long Live Shamerica !!! And Israel,too !!!
In Response

by: Phil from: USA
January 25, 2013 15:52
Oh, so now its America's fault? Israeli fault? Of course it is!

It's always someone else's fault other than your own.

But don't worry, we will bring you some democracy!
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
January 25, 2013 18:29
My dear `philly` aka.Chenghiz khan,aka.Sara Kakodyan,aka.666.No one says Shamericans or Zionists or you are responsible for their actions.The arabs have the concept of the allahtan-which means coming from God_these allahtans are closest to his heart and God solely is responsible for their actions-that is the God of the fallen we are all waiting for you to come and bring us your true demockracy-but we cant wait any longer-so please come sooner-tomorrow the oil may end and you will have to close your petrol station and come to us begging for pork and moonshine-so, its now or never,please do it as fast as you can and dont forget to bring your nappies too.Allah akbar!!! Allahtan Ali Babaly Ilham-even more akbar!!! p.s.-When you come dont forget to take the Sesame cave treasures with you!!!
In Response

by: RD
January 24, 2013 17:34
Ali, Aliyev has done one ridiculous thing after another, and you blame the Armenians for it. As an example, he threatens to shoot down any flights full of civilians landing in Stepanakert Airport. He knows that would be folly, but he still says it anyways. Do you have any idea how ridiculous that looks internationally? The other genius move he made is making a xenophobic comment that "all Armenians around the world are his biggest enemy". That is a general racist comment. He may be interested to know that many Armenians don't know who he is or care. Aliyev is a baffoon and an embarassment to Azerbaijan. Please keep him and let him enrich the Israelis buying arms from them and plunderring the country's wealth until there is nothing left for future generations.
In Response

by: Chingiz from: London
January 24, 2013 20:42
RD, here in lies the problem with propaganda. It makes information potentially invalid and muddies the lies and the truth together so that the subject matter cannot be viewed objectively. It's a great disservice to the public and anyone who knows the value of truth would not partake in such nefarious activities.
In Response

by: Hesret from: Baku
January 24, 2013 23:08
The so called "patriotism" of Aliyev is a cheap show and we, the Azeris know it well. The Aliyev regime is a strategic partner of Armenian nationalists, like Mubarak was for Zionists. As Mubarak defended Israel, the Aliyev's defend Armenia nationalists. Just look into history, the Aliyev senior disbanded 33 most competent army units as soon as he was brought to power during the Karabakh war.
In Response

by: john from: toronto
January 25, 2013 02:00
exactly rd. Let sutan aliev plunder the repress these "azeris" until it completely collapses. Let these monkies defend the head fascist. They deserve nothing less.
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
January 25, 2013 08:35
I was thinking: "Should I dignify Hesret & Chingiz with an answer?" Nahhh...

PS Your nation is gonna lose a lot in many ways because of Aliev... People are getting fed up and so enough, anarchy will rear its head.... Good night and good luck...
In Response

by: Ara Doganian from: Hayastan, LA, USA
January 25, 2013 16:22
Of course, my Armenian brother! These Azerbystanies don’t deserve your most valid of Armenian opinions! Deny them of it and let them beg for your noble and truthful words!

Indeed, you are doubly correct! Those Azerbystanies are so poor and so unhappy in their underdeveloped and crumbling country, that once their economic, political and social development reaches that of our great nation, they will surely flee their country in the thousands like we do today! It will definitely be a massive blow to them, just like it is to us this and every day over the last 25 years!
In Response

by: Leyla from: Baku
January 28, 2013 11:46
Phil from: USA / January 25, 2013 15:52

You’ll bring some democracy to Azerbaijan, as you did to Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, etc??)))
Keep your democracy to yourself. OK?
Nobody says that it's not our fault. But just because it's our country and our problems, let us think and concern about them. Don't worry about us, if you really are, which I seriously doubt))))
Everything will be OK with us, just leave us alone.

In Response

by: Leyla from: Baku
January 28, 2013 12:35
Why should WE be concerned about how the idea for shooting down any flight looks internationally??? The international community didn't pay any attention to the occupation of Nagorno Karabakh and adjacent 7 regions of Azerbaijan by Armenian military forces, more than one million Azeri people, who became refugees and displaced persons, and to the UN Security Council resolutions (No 822, 853, 874, 884) on the Armenia's withdrawal from Azeri territories. So, why we should be concerned about the international reaction???
Believe me, the majority of people in Azerbaijan will support any decision Aliyev makes regarding this idea)))
As for “all Armenians around the world are his biggest enemy” as an Azeri living in Azerbaijan I have NEVER heard Aliyev saying it. It’s simply not true. I belief his words were taken out of context and interpreted the wrong way.

by: American Troll
January 24, 2013 00:34
Now now. The proper ex-Soviet nomenclature is спамиздат.

by: Human from: earth
January 24, 2013 04:49
It appears that the US and Israel could not train well their vassals in Azerbaijan Republic about smart usage of soft-power and modern technologies. All the resources provided by the US and the Zionist regime to re-train the badly educated great-grandchildren of Felix Dzerzhinsky went to waste. Poor US taxpayers.

by: King from: Moscow
January 25, 2013 08:36
The "Armenian Propaganda" accusations are getting so old and nonsensical that they're beyond funny - why would a normal, law abiding, freedom-loving (yes there are those!) Azeri national view such reports as antiazeri propaganda by Armenians? What Armenians are gonna profit from it? How? Let's think: If Azerbaijan is really a non-corrupt coutry with a much better standard of living, then Azerbaijan will be MUCH MORE DANGEROUS AS AN ENEMY - strong, unified nation, with zero corruption and all of her systems working in perfect unison, much more like Israel which is a nation of 8 million (similar to Azerbaijan by the way) against 300 million Arabs.
On the other hand if Azerbaijan is as corrupt as it's being reported then how exactly Armenians are gonna benefit? If the aim of those "falsified" reports to put enough pressure on Azerbaijan (highly unlikely even with 2000000 of such reports) to abandon it's corrupt ways and to embrace an honest change in politics, then it will be a good thing for Azerbaijan turning it in a truly powerful nation. Looks like Armenians are working against themselves! This is hard to believe knowing that Armenians are not that stupid and are "treacherous" enough to know the "benefit" of corruption, after all, this is what they are blamed for for hundreds of years!
The conclusion is that, what is said about Azerbaijan is most likely just the tip of the iceberg, if anyone has any doubts then take a gander at Russia and it's corruption scandals and then try to imagine what's going on in Azerbaijan, adding the lack of freedoms, total control of of Mass Media and zero criticism, complete "clanification" of it's economy (the names of 100 or so individuals who are in charge in Az are well known) and a bit of asian mentality and you have a perfecty corrupt country and it's people in deep deep trouble which is evident on the streets of RUSSIAN cities where most of the young Azeris have fled
In Response

by: Ter from: Los Angeles
January 25, 2013 14:04
Talk is cheap my hayastan brethren, especially Armenia talk, that's why there is such an abundance of it. Lots of supply, no demand. On the other hand, weapons and numbers aren't cheap, it's time to send home yourself or your resources. The Azeri sultanate has a lot of money and weapons and we must not be outmatched. Our home economy is a disaster, the money is not gonna come from inside and the cowards leaving everyday need to be replaced.
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
January 25, 2013 18:49
One thing about Armenian and many other cultures use the same thing, there are things we show and talk about what we have, and those that ... you people finish my thought... Oh ya some people pose as Armenians on this site, someone is getting creative...
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
January 25, 2013 22:23
Dear Shan Kak & Eshu Sher,aka.Chenghiz aka.Phil aka.Ara doganian aka.Ter Eshu Sher,turkey talk is not cheap,every month the turkish-azeri bedfellows spend more than 3 million $$$ on Goebbels type propaganda feeding scores of BS BW PR teams with their Judas money fooling themselves they can fool all the people all the time.However there are some things money just cant buy,but they are beyond the turkic mental capabilities of understanding.Now dont worry about the armenian economy-very soon the armenians will have millions of workers to enrich their economy-problem is most of them are azeris who can produce only`cheap turkey talk` and you say and hot thin air as you do.Nevermind -they will be taught some basic skills like bottom servicing,boot licking,most low level azeri kgbs like you can learn to pull carts and clean public lavatories as well.You know what a lavatory is ,dont you -Ali Babalievich Ilham has one in his palace and when the armenians regain their lands many new ones will have to be build and thats where bright minds like Ter Mal Alan will come very very handy.So,keep up collecting your weapons and money ,the armenians shall be very grateful to you and dont forget to take your pills today and every day.P.S. Dont forget to put on your underwear also as it is cold and your bedfellows may steal it!!!
In Response

by: sultan the great from: baku
January 26, 2013 17:37
we are in deep doo. our fascist sultan is plundering all the wealth. once the oil goes dry in a decade. we will be thrown back to our barbarian nomadic ways. This time there will be no more "azerbiajan". we should all invest our few manats in Mongolian real estate because that's where we turks will all end up in.
In Response

by: nick from: boulder, co
January 26, 2013 17:48
what a complete turkish donkeys you morons are. keep fooling your idiotic selves with even more BS. remember your next stop in mongolian steps.

by: David Babayan from: Anahit's Amjig
January 25, 2013 22:10
Dear moderators, why do you approve the postings of this idiot "Camel Anaturk"? Please ban this Armenian provocateur.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk`s alter ego from: Kurdistan-Ilham`s harem
January 26, 2013 11:33
That`s right dear moderators,even I cant stand the dark half of myself and it is your utmost job to ban this idiot-on second thoughts its best to bomb him to show our greater than life azeri humanism and then Mehribanban agha -aka David Allahtan,aka.Chenghiz khan-in a word-Azeri kgb Mal alan-all of them will send you a big box of the best caviar for you to make the right decision!!! And if you need to renew your child bride harems-just whistle!!!Allah akbar-azeri kgb-even more akbar!!!
In Response

by: peter from: ottawa
January 26, 2013 16:09
Dog breath David this site is called Radio Free Europe not Radio Censor Europe like in cesspool Russia, China , Iran , Cuba, Armenia , North Korea . If Camel offends you then go back to your outhouse blow out your candel and live in the dark.
In Response

by: nick from: boulder co
January 26, 2013 17:50
That`s right dear moderators,even I cant stand the dark half of myself and it is your utmost job to ban this idiot-on second thoughts its best to bomb him to show our greater than life azeri humanism and then Mehribanban agha -aka David Allahtan,aka.Chenghiz khan-in a word-Azeri kgb Mal alan-all of them will send you a big box of the best caviar for you to make the right decision!!! And if you need to renew your child bride harems-just whistle!!!Allah akbar-azeri kgb-even more akbar!!!
In Response

by: Ben
January 27, 2013 17:40
Aserbaijani hysteria,Armenia`s appeasement,Iranian bomb` comouflage,Georgia betraial and the following hypocricy,Israel-bashing,Russia scratching - Obama` s reset politics in RFERL interpretation.

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