18 June 2008, 15:12
Azerbaijani Avars ask President of Dagestan to protect them from "Azerization"
Today, the Executive Committee of the Avar National Council has addressed an open letter to President of Dagestan Mukhu Aliev. The appeal makes emphasis on the situation with the Avars who live in Azerbaijan.
Magomed Guseinov, one of the activists of the organization, has stated in his conversation with the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent that today we can quite well speak about physical and moral genocide of Avars. As he said, as of today, the political, economic and other power in the areas of Avars' compact residence is concentrated in the hands of Azerbaijanis only, mainly, of natives from Nakhichevan. Anyone who criticized or criticizes the current situation puts his life at the hazard.
Quite a lot of Avars are already behind prison bars. By estimates of different international public and human rights organizations, the population of such inmates is approaching 300.
The Avars (some 200,000 persons in total) are compactly living in Azerbaijan in their historical homeland - in the Zakatal, Belokan and Kakh Districts. These lands were incorporated into Azerbaijan in 1922. Then, the Avars found themselves under forced "Azerization".
Author: Ahmed Magomedov, CK correspondent