Azerbaijani Facebook users are divided into two camps – one side demands the parents be punished, while the other points the finger at officials " />

Four children drown in unguarded waters near Baku – who’s to blame?

Azerbaijani Facebook users are divided into two camps – one side demands the parents be punished, while the other points the finger at officials

Azerbaijani Facebook users are asking – ‘who is to blame for the deaths of four children from one family on an unguarded beach near Baku?’ 

• Why are people drowning at Azerbaijani beaches?

Four children drowned on August 10 in Nardaran, a village not far from Baku. The oldest was 12 years old, while the youngest was 8. 

The children were not supervised by a lifeguard.

The prosecutor’s office has launched a criminal case looking into ‘negligent homicide’ – however the names of potential guilty parties have not been published.  

There are few details in the media – it is not known exactly how the children drowned or where their parents were at that moment.

Who’s to blame? 

Most social media users blame the parents of the children for their death.  

“The parents are to blame. How can children be allowed to go into the sea alone or left unattended?”

“The police should have found and interrogated the parents of these children. And put them away for a year and a half, to let them grow wiser.”

Others blame the unpredictable sea and say teaching children to swim is the responsibility of the state:

“The schools plan to introduce the basics of religion – why not introduce the basics of swimming?”

“Previously, there were free pools, but now they all are paid and expensive. Despite the fact that they are built on budget money.”

And some scold the Ministry of Emergency Situations, which does not ensure that people avoid dangerous, unattended beaches: 

“Why are there no signs or posters prohibiting swimming at wild beaches?” 

Azerbaijani beaches have long been plagued by drowning incidents – every year, dozens of people drown in the summer – in the 2018 beach season, more than 50 people died from drowning across the country. 

Moreover, Azerbaijani beaches are besieged by sanitary problems. The water is frequently dirty and contaminated with waste product. Moreover, there are few free beaches left – most beaches have paid entry or belong to hotels or recreation zones. 

Every year, officials agree that the problems must be addressed, but little changes. 


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