Azerbaijanis from Georgia appeal to the President of Azerbaijan
Closed land borders of Azerbaijan
Ethnic Azerbaijanis living in Georgia have petitioned Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to open land borders so that people can travel to each other. The petition was drafted on the initiative of Samira Bayramova, a Georgian human rights activist and ethnic Azerbaijani, and posted on social networks.
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Azerbaijanis from Georgia and Georgians from Azerbaijan joined the petition
The human rights activist noted that not only Azerbaijanis from Georgia, but also Georgians living in Azerbaijan, support this petition, which has been signed by more than 1,000 people.
“More than 3 years ago the land borders between Azerbaijan and Georgia were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis live in Georgia, and there are ethnic Georgians living in Azerbaijan. Many of them are connected by family ties, but they cannot communicate for a long time.”
Land borders have been closed for more than three years
Azerbaijan’s land borders with all neighboring countries have remained closed to citizens for more than three years, since March 24, 2020.
Although in most countries of the world quarantine measures related to the coronavirus have long been canceled, in Azerbaijan the quarantine regime is still in force. Last June 23, by decision of the country’s Cabinet of Ministers, the period of special quarantine regime was extended until October 2, 2023.
The president himself talked about quarantine and closed land borders in June of last year:
“Our land borders are closed and must remain closed. Why? To keep people from getting sick. Because this disease is mostly spread through land borders. That’s why we keep our borders closed and we do it right. We will keep our borders closed as long as necessary.”
“Can’t go to his homeland, 500 meters away.”
Samira Bayramova wrote on Facebook about her observation at the border between Azerbaijan and Georgia, which prompted her initiative to address the President of Azerbaijan.
“Yesterday at the Red Bridge border crossing, a citizen of Azerbaijan was desperately crying, showing his passport in his hand and saying that he cannot go to his homeland, which is 500 meters away. The man, who had been there for several days, completely weakened by hunger and fatigue, sat for some time leaning against the wall and sadly holding his knees. He was suffering from poverty and hopelessness, hating the whole world. The cab drivers nearby listened to his grief and tried to comfort him, but in vain, no one could help him.
It was hard to watch this scene from the outside. Desperate people suffering from the conditions created by the upper and lower classes of society. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help him either, I looked at him and forgot about my own problems. At least I had somewhere to stay, if I was brought back from the border, where would he go, what would he do!
After a while I looked, he was gone. I didn’t see where he had gone…..
Sometimes we are very helpless, we can’t do anything and we are tormented by conscience. I didn’t sleep all night, and in the morning I had an idea – to officially apply for help for such people who find themselves in a difficult situation, maybe we will still be heard.”