The apartments on Dilara Aliyeva Street 141 are listed in the emergency condition, because of the construction plans of the local firm “FF 2011.”
Ulduz Mammadova, one of those who resides at the address, says no one from the company has shown any interest in her situation; instead, all of the contacts are organized through the local utility service and municipality. It is said the company offers tenants a rent of 300 AZN. Mammadova says, "They say to us, ‘take this money,’ and after a month they will sign a contract with us. Who can guarantee that a month later I will find anyone with whom to sign a contract?" Mammadova also says the current residents are offered a flat in the new building after two years, but she adds, "Who is going to pay my rent until that time? No one is talking about that." Mammadova would rather get back her flat repaired.
The 83-year-old Farida Hajiyeva cannot go home because her flat is sealed by the utility service under the claim it is under an emergency situation. Hajiyeva says the building where she lives was built by her grandfather, "The building was built in 1896, the wall thickness is 90 centimeters since then no earthquake could have damaged it as it is now.”
Now there are only four walls remaining in her home. Some of her items fell into disrepair during the situation, and others were taken away. As for the compensation, she does not agree with the offered amount, "They would not pay our money, I want more than 1500 manat per meter square. When this amount was offered the USD rate was lower, now it has been raised twice".
There are six families who live in the historical building where Hajiyeva lives. The company wants to move all 18 families living at this address.
These families aren’t the only ones affected
Other residents of Dilara Aliyeva Street also are facing damages from the construction by the "FF 2011" company. Afet Nuralieva, who lives at Dilara Aliyeva Street 180, says that as the result of construction work by this company over the course of years, her flat is under the threat of collapse. "They come and go. No one says anything or negotiates with us. We do not need much, we just want them to give us our money.” The resident also indicates that their appeals are being ignored, “They mostly work during the night and we can feel the walls vibrate as if there were an 8.0 magnitude earthquake happening. After we make complaints, they stop for a couple of hours, at most for a day or two, and then they start again.”
Another resident of the street, Elmira Kazimova, says that this resettlement issue has been going on for five years, but no result is visible. "The owner of that company is a liar! One day she claims that she is the Baku mayor's close relative, or has kin to Allahshukur Pashazade, or someone important's friend so that we cannot do anything to her.” The only information available on the "FF 2011" company is the owner's name: "I do not know her surname, but I know her name is Tamilla".
Nasimi District Executive Power has left our numerous calls related to the issue unanswered.
Similar incident four years ago
The company name was mentioned in a similar scandal four years ago. Film director, Shamil Mahmudbeyov, sued the company after his house on Dilara Aliyeva Street had fallen into disrepair. Moreover, in 2016, Dilara Aliyeva Street resident Ahmad Gurbanov's lawsuit regarding compensation for damages was partially fulfilled. The only information about the company is that its owner is a woman named Tamilla.
Abutalibov's order repeated
Related to the validity of the proposed compensation, lawyer Intiqam Aliyev mentioned that the European Court of Human Rights, in several resolutions concerning Azerbaijan, noted the violations of the Protocol number 1 in connection with compensation assigned during similar demolition projects. "As a legal basis for such demolitions, they usually refer to Baku City Executive Power head's decree number 76 about "Implementation of the General Plan of Baku." From this document, it becomes clear that the proprietors of the residential and non-residential areas in the mentioned addresses are to receive a 1500 manat fixed price for every square meter. Neither Baku City Executive Power, nor any other institution, nor the president has the authority to administratively, unilaterally assess citizens' flats, especially if they are being illegally demolished."
The lawyer also added that the demolition of properties located on that territory do not fall under the requirement of the state needs, "Since the properties on Dilara Aliyeva Street are not connected to state needs, they are free to sell their properties at the price they want. The fact that city authorities or commercial companies connected to them offer the citizen who lives in the city center 1500 manat per square meter is lawless and arbitrary.”
Intigam Aliyev emphasized these kinds of attacks on property rights are rather common, "Because of backing on the highest levels to the organizations and individuals involved in illegal actions, people have been deprived of the proper means of protection. We see forced expulsions of people from their living places without any court decisions, by the police force, or by deliberately rendering properties unlivable. Increase in such actions as the unlawful destruction of properties, and a blatant disregard for the citizens' complaints of these demolitions, puts people in a difficult position."
As the way to solve this problem, lawyer sees in peoples' appeals to the European Court of Human Rights: "The result will be the same, even if citizens do not abide by the groundless demands from authorities. Thus, they should consider the risks of the destruction of properties and of being left on the street anyway. It is better to take the compensation than to look for justice in the national courts, and after, by taking the dispute to the European Court, to hope for better compensation."