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Baku's Busy Traffic Police


Azerbaijan's Busy Traffic Police
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A video by RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service shows traffic police officers stopping cars on December 31 and seemingly taking bribes. On the same day, President Ilham Aliyev spoke to the nation and talked about his government's "fierce fight against corruption.

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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