Law enforcement in Azerbaijan
Law enforcement in Azerbaijan comes under the control of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan, which administers the National Police of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Admitted to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on 30 January 1992, with an OSCE office opening in Baku on 16 November 1999, and as a member of INTERPOL, the National police force is well integrated into the law enforcement network of European countries.
Law enforcement agencies
The Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs are the main law enforcement agencies, which have broad range of responsibilities. Other law enforcement agencies in Azerbaijan are Customs Committee, Ministry of Taxes, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Emergency Situations, and State Border Service. Internal investigation offices of these agencies are responsible for dealing with crimes in specific areas.
The Prosecutor’s Office
- investigating criminal acts;
- participating in the procedures conducted by the courts;
- protecting public accusations in the criminal procedures;
- supervising the implementation and operation of laws;
The Ministry of Internal Affairs
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan is the central executive body. The responsibilities of the ministry include filing criminal investigation, protection of public order and security, and prevention of criminal offences.
The institutional structure and the regulations of the Ministry was approved on June 30, 2001, by the Presidential decree.
The Department of Internal Security was established on June 30, 2004 by the decree of the president of Azerbaijan. The department deals with the activities that are incompatible with police service, exposure of facts about corruption and corrupt officers, and conduction corporate control with the Ministry.
Main Organized Crime Department
Following the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On Intensified Combat against Crime and Reinforcement of Law and Order”, which was adopted on August 9, 1994, Organized Crime Department was established within the Ministry. On June 30, 2004, the level of Organized Crime Department was upgraded and became main department by the Decree No. 83 “On Institutional Amendments at the Ministry of Internal Affairs”.
In 2004, the Department on Combating Traffic in Human Beings was established with the Main Organized Crime Department.
Responsibilities of the Department include:
- fight against robbery, extortion, kidnapping, hostage taking;
- fight against human trafficking;
- collecting and storing the information regarding organized crime, studying the performance of local police services, data analysis;
- exposing, detecting and neutralizing organized criminal groups;
- information collecting about criminal groups engaged in transnational crimes;
- studying the preconditions regarding to foundation of organized criminal groups and giving draft proposals to the Ministry of Internal Affairs
The INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NBC) in the Republic of Azerbaijan was established in 1993. The purpose of NBC Baku is to maintain quick and coherent exchange of criminal intelligence between law enforcement agencies in Azerbaijan and their counterparts in other Interpol member countries and work with them to localize fugitives and missing persons and identify criminals by using INTERPOL criminal databases.
The departments in INTERPOL Baku are followings:
- Technical Support;
- General Crime;
The National Police force is under the authority of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and regulated by the Internal Investigation Department. The latter supervises the police's compliance with law, human rights and civil liberties, and checks for violations of such and any other illegal activities. Directly subordinate to the Ministers, the IID watches over the activities of the police, with a number of divisions dedicated to complaints and organisation difficulties, always as malfeasance matters.
The police force itself also consists of a large number of divisions and departments, ranging from both specialised and regular police divisions, education, training, medical, a National Central Bureau of Interpol, criminal intelligence, administration, investigation and inquest departments, drug abuse control departments, operations and statistics, transportation, traffic police, human resources, communication and planning departments and press services, financial, logsitcs and civil defence.
Law enforcement in the contested regions
The National Police of the Republic of Azerbaijan are also responsible for enforcing the law in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic via a specialised department of Azerbaijan's Ministry of the Interior and the Nakhchivan City Police Department. Responsibility of enforcing the law in Nagorno-Karabakh, a region still officially recognised as being part of Azerbaijan, is split between the Azerbaijan police force and the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army (see Law enforcement in Nagorno-Karabakh).
The Azerbaijan National Police Academy was founded in 1921 in Baku as a training establishment for police officers and commanders, and remained there until 1936 when it was relocated to the village of Mardakan. With the country under the sphere of Soviet influence, 1957 saw the police school was renamed the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs Baku Special Police School, which awarded students law degrees after a two-year course. From 1957 until 1961, the school also trained personnel from Georgia, Daghestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Altay, Irkutsk, Krasnodar, Kibyshev, Novosibirsk, Kemerovo and Saratov. Following support from Heydar Aliyev, then leader of Azerbaijan, the police school became an Academy on May 23, 1992, and now resides in Baku, providing training for personnel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Police Force, as well as offering training programs for foreign organisations on request.
Applicants for full or part-time education in the Academy are given a number of criteria by the police force which must be met before they can be successful. These criteria include physical characteristics (height and fitness) and academic (secondary school graduates, knowledged of literature, history, geography and languages). Successful students who graduate the five-year course are awarded qualifications in law and a promotion to lieutenant in the police force.
Azerbaijan's Ministry of Internal Affairs' three-month analysis in 2006 illustrated that Azerbaijan suffers from extensive narcotics-related crime (one crime from every five criminal events is related to narcotics). The MIA's figures state that this drug trafficking across Azerbaijan's borders is a significant problem, and led to the creation of the National Program for Combating Drug Abuse, Illegal Traffic in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursors. Azerbaijan is a party to a number of United Nations anti-drug-trafficking conventions from the years of 1961, 1971 and 1988, however the MIA states that it fails to intercept 90% of drugs that cross the border, and recorded 10965 drug-related cases from 2000 to 2004, seizing 747 kg of narcotics, as well as 10,000 tablets and more than 3,000 ampoules of psychotropic substances. 1221 cultivations of illicit substances, and 2000 tons of cannabis were also destroyed in the same period.
Despite the growing drugs problem, from 1993 to 2004 Azerbaijan enjoyed an overall drop from 246 to 185 crimes per 100,000 of the population which is a drop of 18145 to 16810 recorded crimes, and a rise from 79.5% to 94.2% in the number of cases solved. Murders in Azerbaijan decreased from 478 to 201 per 100,000 and thefts from 4943 to 1775 per 100,000. Theft of motor vehicles and firearms crimes also dropped in a similar manner, however robbery increased from 216 to 672 per 100,000 through the period. Azerbaijan experienced a major shooting spree on April 30, 2009, when either one or two gunmen entered the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy, killing 13 and injuring another 13.
- Police Academy (Azerbaijan)
- Ministry of Internal Affairs (Azerbaijan)
- Prosecutor General's Office of Azerbaijan
- Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe profile page retrieved on May 22, 2007
- Law Enforcement Agencies in Azerbaijan. http://transparency.az/alac/files/LAW%20ENFORCEMENT%20AGENCIES.pdf
- "HISTORY | Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Azerbaijan". genprosecutor.gov.az. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
- "Historic background of the MIA". www.mia.gov.az. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
- "Azerbaijan / Europe / Member countries / Internet / Home - INTERPOL". www.interpol.int. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
- "Main Organized Crime Department". www.mia.gov.az. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
- Ministry of Internal Affairs of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic page Archived 2007-03-14 at the Wayback Machine retrieved on May 23, 2007
- Mr David Atkinson, United Kingdom, European Democrat Group, (Rapporteur) The conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Conference Archived 2012-12-05 at Archive.today, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, 29 November 2004
- Azerbaijan Police Academy pages Archived 2007-05-16 at the Wayback Machine retrieved on May 22, 2007
- Ministry of Internal Affairs analysis Archived 2007-11-11 at Archive.today of three months in 2006, retrieved on May 23, 2007
- Ministry of the Interior Organizational and practical measures undertaken on narcotics related situation in the Republic of Azerbaija retrieved May 23, 2007 Archived April 27, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Ministry of the Interior Comparative Statistics Archived 2007-10-20 at the Wayback Machine retrieved May 23, 2007