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How can mafia boss become Nelson Mandela? (Our editorial, Article one)

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BY EYNULLA FATULLAYEV

Former health minister, one of the associates in the past of the founder of the Third Republic, Heydar Aliyev, political prisoner number one Ali Insanov gave an extensive interview, the first after being released from a long detention. Insanov appeared in the lens of the Voice of America. The first show...

I sincerely admit that the impression was created that not Insanov, but Lyudmila Alekseyeva appeared before the television camera. Or Lev Ponamarev, if not Vaclav Havel. Insanov spoke extensively and in a magniloquent manner about human rights, social justice, political equality and other universal European values. The narrative speech of the phthisiatrician, who consistently became a street tribal activist, minister, prisoner, and now the 'saviour of the nation,' abounded with quotations from Churchill, Truman, and Thatcher. It seems that an ideological inspirer, a student of Solzhenitsyn and a hotbed of 'Chaadaevism' and the sociocultural phenomenon of Euro-Atlanticism, appeared before us. Westerner to the bone. A martyr, crucified in the struggle for a popular cause... Kind of a Chernyshevsky, a victim of civil execution!

Insanov's first photo at large

Finally, for the first time, Ali Insanov declares his political ambitions. Soon, one of the founders of the tribal bureaucracy will create a political organisation, starting a selfless struggle for power. Yes, judging by the words of Insanov, in his struggle he will adhere to the ideology of 'Gandhism.' And go against the power and his former coreligionists in a white cloth robe for the dead: in a shroud. In such an epatage and pretentious way, but with a hoarse and unsettled voice, was expressing himself this depressed man, who once symbolised systemic corruption in Azerbaijan.

The dramatic age of our political history was full of metamorphoses and mythical reincarnations. However, the metamorphosis of Insanov, one of the most reactionary hawks of the period of the middle and late 1990s, is an unnatural event in our life. Of course, every person and politician can make a mistake, get lost, stumble: after all, each of us has the right to make a mistake, right? But is it possible to forgive the person who committed the atrocity against the people, political crimes?! Especially since I never heard repentance in the words of Insanov, not even regret for what he did. And the most annoying thing is that the former minister of health bore his punishment not for what he had done. It's a pity! Insanov is a state criminal, for he has committed the gravest political crimes against an entire nation. Who was Insanov in the past? Maybe we should remind about the crimes of this monster to himself, and to the entire Azerbaijani people?

Ali Insanov, a Nazi, and to be more precise, a tribal criminal, the main author and theorist of the tribe (clan) segregation of Azerbaijanis, fanatically preached and sincerely put into practice the fictional idea of the exceptional superiority of Azerbaijanis from one well-known region. After becoming head of the Ministry of Health in 1993, A.Insanov as minister was compiling lists of employees of his department with a mandatory indication of the place of birth. This was practised only in the Nazi states, only Nazi criminals have done this. Yes, and soviet criminals in the fight against the Jews too. In just five years of his vigorous activity, A.Insanov carried out the most scandalous mass purge of experienced, educated and advanced Azerbaijani doctors who, through no fault of their own, belonged to another region. All courts were filled with complaints from illegally dismissed doctors. And all this fierce Nazi selection took place in front of the public. From the nurse to the leading positions in the hierarchy of Insanov's province, all officials were selected with the correct graph of the place of birth.

Insanov was at the forefront of creating the first clan political organisation, 'Agridag.' I still hear a blasphemous appeal from the lips of the ex-minister himself, often heard at meetings of this masonic lodge. The organisation's last meeting A.Insanov held a few months before his arrest at the club named after Ashig Alasgar. 'We are the majority. And we will force them to reckon with us. No one will be able to make decisions without our consent,' was heard from the lips of the possessed fuhrer. By the way, as one of my friends, a member of the Milli Majlis, the legendary captain of the KVN team 'Parni iz Baku' (Boys from Baku), Anar Mammadkhanov was later remembering at the parliament's lobby, Insanov was indeed behind his back called the fuhrer! The leader of the tribe who dragged us all into the period of the political neolith.

Quite often, in his fiery speeches from the rostrum of the parliament, A.Insanov urged to crack down on political opponents with fascist methods. He called for the shooting and execution of opposition politicians, the closure of newspapers and television channels, and the cruel dispersal of rallies and demonstrations. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, YouTube has kept humiliating, if not barbaric scenes of Insanov's address to journalists.

Here is one of the notorious episodes. The correspondent of ANS TV Afet Telmangizi comes up to the minister with a microphone and tries to ask a harmless question. A self-satisfied minister clothed with unlimited power with a sadistic expression is limited to a brief insulting phrase: 'Get out of here!' The usual boorish appeal for the minister. He also behaved brazenly and ugly in a cage at the first trial. Having listened to the testimony of Lala Bagirova, the head of Bakzdrav (Baku health department), Insanov blurted out in his bestial manner: 'Lala, you are not in my office. Don't grimace!'

Without exaggeration, we recognise that in the 1990s, Insanov evoked a feeling of national disgust and abhorrence. The minister of health is one of the pioneers of systemic corruption and mutual cover-up. Why, to a greater extent, only the 'corruption of Insanov' remained in people's memory? The total robbery and the black cover-up system, introduced in the Ministry of Health, affected every Azerbaijani. Indeed, in the 1990s not every one of us could afford alternative treatment abroad or in specialised commercial medical institutions. All went to public hospitals and clinics. And you had to pay. The humiliated and insulted Azerbaijanis sold the last possessions and went to the doctors' offices. We had to pay for everything: medicines, doctors' services, for a bed, surgery, treatment... All state institutions were headed by chief doctors who swore allegiance and were personally loyal to Insanov. These chief doctors kept records of the turnover of black cash and every unrecorded 'black penny.' The corruption of Insanov was a byword, the people composed legends about the gold mines and the wealth of the gangster minister himself. They talked about sharks in the courtyard of Insanov’s summer residence, hinting at parallels with the wild Dominican dictator Trujillo, who fed oppositionists and dissenting people to sharks. The minister of health was carefully withdrawing his capital outside the country, buying clinics in Israel and Germany.

Insanov did not behave like a member of the government or a political figure, but more like a boss of a criminal group, a head of Cosa Nostra. Imagine that the minister appeared in plenary meetings of the World Health Organisation with members of his family, while members of the official delegation and senior officials of the Ministry of Health were forced to stand in the corridors at attention.

The reigning orgy in the Ministry of Health permanently raised the concern of state bodies. In 1998, by the order of President Heydar Aliyev, a State Commission was established to verify the distribution of humanitarian aid and medicines that came to Azerbaijan from international organisations and Western countries. It was decreed by fate that, with the rank of a young adviser to the minister of labour and social security, I had the opportunity to join this commission. The results of the audit conducted by the State Commission were more than shocking. Insanov and his entourage stupidly sold in pharmacies drugs intended for refugees. The theft and plunder of Insanov amazed the imagination: the minister sold medicines worth more than $50 million. And this was in the 1990s! In order to imagine the scale of the criminal capital taken away by Insanov, it is enough to recall the annual budget of Azerbaijan during this period: no more than half a billion dollars.

Insanov created a state within the state: his mafia, like the tentacles of an octopus, swept the ruling party of Yeni Azerbaijan, the parliament, the government... But among the ruling establishment were desperate righteous people who threw down the gauntlet to the leader of the Azerbaijani Cosa Nostra. One of them was the head of the social policy section of the Cabinet of Ministers, one of the decent officials of that era, Chingiz Rahimov. Insanov easily removed Chingiz Rahimov from his path, as he neutralised his other critic, Minister of Labour and Social Protection Ali Nagiyev. A powerful propaganda wave, driven by corrupt journalists, struck Rahimov and then Nagiyev. Even Prosecutor General Eldar Hasanov retreated before the might of Insanov's mafia, blaming all of Insanov's crimes on ordinary little officials. Political responsibility for Insanov's crimes had to be assumed by Deputy Prime Minister Izzet Rustamov, who oversaw the social sphere. All those who participated in the fight against Insanov's corruption were eliminated, expelled and deprived of posts in the apparatus.

Insanov was preparing to seize power. And he did not hide his political ambitions at a secret supper. Every Sunday, Insanov, surrounded by his loyal satraps - senior officials from the presidential administration, law enforcement agencies, members of parliament, held heated meetings, telling about his immediate plans to seize power. At the cost of tremendous efforts, the authorities in 2005 managed to stop and disarm the Insanov mafia. It is a pity that this frantic hypocrite did not answer for his crimes. Eldar Mahmudov's Ministry of National Security in fact failed and politicised the investigation of the Insanov gang, even without recalling the true large-scale crimes of the plunderer of humanitarian aid. The minister was sent to the camp for many years of imprisonment. And now, 14 years later, without a twinge of conscience, without recognising his own crimes, in the lens of the Voice of America camera, Ali Insanov again surfaced. And now he wants to become this very 'voice of America.' Isn't it funny? Well, it is blasphemy!

Is it another Insanov?! Can you believe in the transformation of a Sicilian mafiosi, who acts as a denouncer of universal evil or as a champion of human rights? How can a mafia boss become Nelson Mandela? I ask you all, all of us: how ?!

(To be continued)

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