17 forgotten families

A former tuberculosis department of the Hospital N2 in suburb of Sumgait became a home for many families from Nagorni-Karabakh conflict.  Across the villas and outsized private houses the grey, collapsing building without no living conditions are their flats. In a long, dark hall they cook dinner on the electric stove. They wash their cloth there, too. The rooms have no doors; the colorful baldachins serve as walls. 17 IDP families live there for almost 3 years now. 

The “State Program on improvement of living conditions and increasing employment refugees and internally displaced persons” (2004) refugees have to move to new houses before the end of 2015. According to the program, 5445 (1210 families) IDPs temporarily settled in apartments belong to other citizens in Baku and Sumgayit will be relocated to the new buildings in Absheron region. 

Three Sisters

None of the sisters ever married. They have only each other.

The sisters, displaced from Fizuli district after Nagorni-Karabakh Conflict, were living in the Sumgait Hospital N1 before they moved to the tuberculosis department. Now they all live together in the tiny room. They said it was the room for archive. They cleaned and made it for their home.

One of the sisters tells they catch a mouse in the room almost every day. There is no light; the only light bulb is illuminating the room.

The only income they have is their pension, that is 130 AZN (150$) and 15 AZN (17$) benefits of refugees

"I am Abdullayeva Gulambar Haci qizi. I was displaced in 1993 from Fizuli region. At first we were living in the Hospital N1, then we were told they would move us to the better place in a week."
They moved us in three days. Sumqayit and Baku police, people from City Council, the chairman of Refugees Department, the head of Lands Administration Office all came and beat us with batons and dragged us to this place.
They threw our staff to the cars and most of them were lost ,either broken. Look at this clock! It’s broken. We asked them to take us to Nasosnaya (the municipality of Hacı Zeynalabdin, near the city of Sumqayit) but they brought us here. It is a former tuberculosis dispensary.
I do not want anything. The only thing I want is to be buried near my father's grave. At least to visit it. "

This woman Khadija complains about the situation in this hospital.

“I have a 35 years old son, and I can not marry him because there are no any living conditions in this place,” says one of the habitants.

"They beaten us, our arms were in bruises. "That woman, Fargana was very bad condition, but they still brought us here, among rats.
When the summer starts, just come and see these attractions. We have bats here. I told them about it and they answered that in the yards of their houses there are bats as well.
But they have them in the yards, but we have them at home. 23-24 years passed, but no one came to tell us we are allowed to live here"

Fargana Huseynova, 36 years old, a mother of three children has been living there for three years.

Fargana said that one of her sons lost hair, and claims that it is because of bacillus.


" I am sick. I have problems with heart. I fainted several times, and we called to emergency, but no one came. The hospital was closed for repair, and they promised to give another place. Where did you see that refugees are forced to move?
The tubercle bacillus are not dead even in a very high temperature despite they did disinfection. We understand that even if they did disinfection the tubercle bacillus did not disappeared."
"Repair and paint won't help to eliminate the tubercle bacillus. We were told that they had the right to displace the refugees to the better place, and they lied. Go and shoot the toilet and you will see the conditions. "Rats are running on our heads.
It is shameless, the canalization flows. They call it “super repair”. They told me: “you have a husband at home, let him fix it. "
Mother and a son

Sevinc Suleymanova lives here together with her 9 years old son. She claims her son has serious kidney problems because of the living conditions.

Their room was unusually big, but it was freezing inside enough to wear coats.


"My son, Vugar and Elshad lost hair. I understand that I should not touch the walls and doors here. But they are children, how to explain them.
Look, he is a kid. But his kidneys are in awful conditions. We have just come from the doctor. He is 9 years old. Is it possible to live in the hospital about 21 years? "

Vugar is one of the best pupils in his class. He loves to play military toys, and says he will become a soldier, or a policeman. He thinks the police defend the people.

Background of the conflict

The collapse of Soviet Union led to several conflicts in the Post Soviet Countries. One of them is the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

After Nagorno Karabakh conflict more than 1200 million Azerbaijani people were displaced from their own homes. They were moved to several regions all over the country and they had been settled down in the public places. 

Ali Hasanov, chairman of the Azerbaijani State Committee for Refugees and IDPs told "The poverty rate among refugees hit 75 percent in 2003, while in 2013 - 15 percent. Just last year, around $ 1,300 were spent for every refugee and displaced person in Azerbaijan.
Around 600 million will be spent in 2013. In general, around $5.4 billion were spent for these problems over the last 20 years." İn 2009-2013, 1,113 billion has been spent on improving the living conditions of IDPs.
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