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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 28, 1955

LETTER TO CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE SECRETARY KHRUSHCHEV, STATEMENT OF MIR AGA AZARI

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    This statement by Azari accuses the Democratic Party of Southern Azerbaijan's leaders of abusing their authority and expelling Party members if they criticized the actions of the leadership. He appeals to Khrushchev to do something about the nature of the party and its leaders, as well as to look into his own personal case of expulsion.
    "Letter to CPSU Central Committee Secretary Khrushchev, Statement of Mir Aga Azari," January 28, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI, f. 5, op. 28, d. 347. Department for Relations with Foreign Communist Parties (International Department of the Central Committee), 1953-1957, microfilm, reel 83. Obtained by Roham Alvandi and translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119701
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[Translator's note: the following document is handwritten:]

to Cde. N. S. Khrushchev,

First Secretary of the CPSU CC

from political émigré Mir Aga Seid Badal ogly,

who lived in Baku at Pervomayskaya St. Drogal'nyy,

Alley 15, Apt. 1

Statement

During an attack by the Iranian reactionary army on Southern Azerbaijan in 1946 I crossed into Northern Azerbaijan with my family, where I found my second homeland. Thanks to the concern and attention of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Soviet government I built my happy life.

During a battle [my] older brother Mir Geydar Azizi was surrounded and was hung by the Iranian reactionary government.

In 1947 I found work in the headquarters of the Azerbaijan Railroad, and from 1951 to 1953 I studied in a two-year Party school of the CP CC of Azerbaijan. After graduating the Party school I was sent to the Baku branch of the ZKD railroad, where I work at the present time. During the period of work in the railroad I have had a series of notes of appreciation and a bonus.

As a member of the Democratic Party of Southern Azerbaijan I have always done everything entrusted to me honestly and conscientiously both in Southern Azerbaijan and also in Northern Azerbaijan. I have taken an active part in identifying and removing all defects inside the Party and fought vigorously to strengthen the discipline and integrity of its ranks.

In June 1947 after the car accident with the Cde. Pishevari, the chairman of our Party and leader of the people's movement of Southern Azerbaijan, and after the death of Pishevari former Secretary of the CP CC of Azerbaijan Bagirov appointed 11 people without the permission of members of the Democratic Party and called this the CC of the Democratic Party of Southern Azerbaijan.

This CC did not enjoy authority among Party members and lost its authority. Then in 1953 Bagirov again without permission made a change of a number of CC members who were recommended by former Minister of Internal Affairs Atakishiyev, Deputy Minister Kuliyev, and others. He again appointed obedient people to the detriment of the Party who had ties with them even in Southern Azerbaijan.

In spite of the enormous aid and work of the Soviet government and Communist Party of the Soviet Union the members of the CC of our Democratic Party have insufficiently used these opportunities to educate the ordinary members of the Party and raise their ideological and theoretical skill level. An incorrect work style has been created in the CC staff; instead of a collective leadership a rotten dictatorial method by Chairman Gulam [sic, also seen as Gulyam] Yahya Daniiyan and his Deputy Kyanbakhsh [sic, usually written Kambakhsh] has taken root, which has produced discontent among members of the Democratic Party.

It was impossible to speak about these shortcomings during the leadership of former Secretary of the CP CC of Azerbaijan Bagirov. Criticism and self-criticism inside the Party was not permitted.

Armed with the decisions of the XIX CPSU Congress and the new style of collective leadership of the Communist Party, and taking the mistakes of the former leadership of Bagirov into account, ordinary Party members considered it possible and began to criticize the shortcomings of the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan CC leaders appointed by Bagirov, and began to point out their mistakes.

Turning the Party for their personal interests and source of income [sic] some leaders, with a petty bourgeois ideology and politically short-sighted, frightened by the greater activity of the low-level members, beginning in June 1954 they prohibited the convening of Party meetings. The leadership of the CC of the Democratic Party deceived the leadership of the CC and Council of Ministers of the Azerbaijan SSR and began to give false information and slandered individual active, authoritative, and old cadre. All this had its old roots: some members of the CC of the Democratic Party, Cheshmazar, Vilai, Doctor Javid, Shabustari [sic, previously Shebustari], and Biriya together, pursued factional work against the Central Committee and its Chairman, Cde. Pishevari personally, while still in Southern Azerbaijan. Doctor Javid, Shabustari, and Mamed Biriya were enemies of the Party and people.

As an active Party member I have always criticized their shortcomings, for which they began to persecute me as the closest relative of the late Pishevari, knowing much about their dirty deeds. In September 1954 the aforementioned people expelled me from the Party, falsely using the authority of Cde. Mustafayev, the First Secretary of the CC of Azerbaijan, and in his name violating the Party's principles and charter.

Cde. Khrushchev expelled me from the ranks of the Party for the fact that I very strongly criticized CC members Cheshmazar for common corruption and his poor behavior among the masses and [Ilkhaliya], a member of the Auditing Commission, to whom a large sum of money was appropriated, and CC member Mir Ragim [sic, seen previously as Rahim] Vilai, as the closest friend of Mamed Biriya, who has been exposed as an enemy of the people and the Party whom Vilai tried to whitewash, in the presence of Cde. Mustafayev, the First Secretary of the CC CP of Azerbaijan. CC member Ragim Gazi, who was studying in Baku during the attack of the Iranian reactionary army in Southern Azerbaijan, began to set fire to all the portraits and democratic literature, and went himself to the Iranian consulate and asked the Iranian consul to return him to Iran. And at this meeting I subjected the above officials to sharp criticism and I pointed out the accident with Pishevari's car. Considering that I knew all their tricks and dirty schemes which had occurred in Southern Azerbaijan, they not only expelled, but even put my life in danger.

The CC of the Democratic Party [expelled] a large number of active Party members who previously fought imperialism and had been tortured in Iran in [Reza Khan's] prisons and exile and who had pursued a hard life for the revolution; part were expelled from the Party, part were given various Party punishments, reprimands, severe reprimands, warnings, and thereby weakened Party unity, which was to the enemy's benefit. Besides this, they created a crisis in the Party.

The new CC of the Democratic Party has no authority among the masses.

Dear Cde. Khrushchev, I arrived in the USSR as a political émigré with my family, where I encountered a warm and cordial reception from the Soviet government, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and the Soviet people headed by the great Russian people. Our future happiness and fate depends on you.

Cde. Khrushchev, I made a petition concerning my expulsion from the ranks of the Democratic Party based on false, slanderous material, and speculation in the name of Cde. Mustafayev, the Secretary of the CP CC of Azerbaijan on the 24th of September 1954, I sent a telegram on the 15th of October 1954, and also on the 22nd of October 1954 I wrote a second petition to Cde. Mustafayev, the Secretary of the CP CC of Azerbaijan, about my reception [from] him of permission to leave for Moscow to resolve my problem. But unfortunately I have received no specific answer. All my petitions and telegrams were sent to Cde. Khalykov, who each time answered me in grossly insulting words, did not provide any results, and did not give [me access] to Cde. Mustafayev.

Cde. Khrushchev, turning to you in your capacity, I find in your person Leninist fairness in the resolution of my problem, considering my 31-year public political work beginning with the Leninist Komsomol, the People's Party, and to the Democratic Party and as incorrectly expelled. I cannot live without my own Party, the Party is my life since I am connected with this Party in blood. There was never in history a Marxist-Leninist party that expelled active members from Party ranks because of criticism.

Put an end to all the outrages taking place in the CC of the Democratic Party of Southern Azerbaijan with the aid of the CPSU CC.

There are many serious issues [about] which I cannot write in my petition.

Please permit me to leave for Moscow or to send a commission through the CPSU CC to look into all the issues on the scene.

28 January 1955 (Azari)

II petition

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