Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug.28
By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:
The analysis of the developments shows that anti-Azerbaijani campaign on political prisoners on the international world is systemic, controlled from the single center, the claims of political prisoners are considered an important and long-term part of this campaign, and will be used as one of the means to establish a negative image of Azerbaijan internationally on the eve of 2015 the First European Summer Olympic Games and Parliamentary elections, member of Azerbaijani Delegation to PACE,Chairman of Azerbaijani Delegation to Euronest PA, Elkhan Suleymanov told media Aug. 28.
He believes that in such a situation the Azerbaijani side should have a common and balanced position against these false claims and the main parts of this common position should be the following:
- The side claiming the presence of political prisoners in Azerbaijan (NGO, international organizations, etc.) should be required to raise a claim that the person in question is a political prisoner and submit the court decision;
- The political pressures of international organizations against Azerbaijan on the issue of political prisoners shouldn't be paid attention until the occupied Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia are fully liberated, the violated rights of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis are restored, danger of humanitarian and environmental crisis caused by Sarsang water reservoir is eliminated, and long-term blockade of Nakhchivan is ended.
The anti-Azerbaijani forces have recently and actively re-launched a wide-scale campaign with claims regarding political prisoners against our country within international organizations, as well as PACE, he noted.
It should be noted that a number of national NGOs based in Azerbaijan established relations with these anti-Azerbaijani forces and are financed from foreign sources. These national NGOs prepare the lists of different so-called political prisoners with the order of foreign centers, which finance them, and actively participate in the campaign with claims of many political prisoners in Azerbaijan together with their guardian anti-Azerbaijani forces within the international organizations, Suleymanov added.
On the other hand, we observe the developments in the world, in particular in CoE member states and see that the situation of human rights in Azerbaijan does not strongly differ from other CoE member states. Nevertheless, the issue of political prisoners has never been applied to any other country, except Azerbaijan in PACE. Thus, a reasonable question arises: why is only Azerbaijan out of 47 member states claimed to have political prisoners, and why are the above-mentioned criteria with doubtful credibility applied only to our country? Doesn't it indicate the violation of the principle of equal rights of the states in PACE and obvious discrimination against Azerbaijan?
Each person indicated as an alleged political prisoner in the submitted lists was brought to responsibility due to specific crimes, and the verdict was given about them by courts. As you know, those people have the right to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights if they don't agree with the verdict of national courts, Suleymanov concluded.
Suleymanov went on to add that the issue of political prisoners is a legal issue, and there are the verdicts of courts regarding the convicts. Therefore, the verdict of the court may be changed only by using the existing legal mechanisms. However, a number of national NGOs, their guardians - international organizations, and foreign anti-Azerbaijani forces don't want to use this legal mechanism and politicize the issue. This contradicts the rule of law.
"I would like to highlight an interesting point: a group of national NGOs and international organizations claim about the presence of political prisoners in Azerbaijan. According to international judicial and legal rules in force, the plaintiff should prove his/her claim in the court. Thus, according to the above-mentioned international judicial and legal rules, the party claiming the presence of political prisoners in Azerbaijan (NGOs, international organizations, etc) should raise a claim that the person in question is a political prisoner and prove his/her claims before the court. I believe that the issue may only be resolved in this way on the legal context. Namely this resolution of the issue is able to block subjective and biased position of individual biased sides.
Interestingly, the people, who claim about the presence of political prisoners in Azerbaijan, don't agree with the fact that these alleged political prisoners were arrested for committing specific crimes, and they even don't want to hear about it. For example, although Leyla Yunus was detained on specific charges, the European Union, the Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, US State Department, and Foreign Ministry of Great Britain immediately made a statement, condemning Yunus's arrest as another example of attacks to civil society in Azerbaijan. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Freedom House, Freedom and Security Institute of Reporters, and other several international NGOs claimed that Leyla Yunus was detained with fabricates charges for her activity in the sphere of human rights," the chairman noted.
One of the main points is that Panarmenian, Azatutyun.am, and massispost Armenian online mass media published materials regarding the arrest of Leyla Yunus, saying that the charges were false and served to silence the voice of human rights defender. Armenian representative to OSCE evaluated the arrest of Yunus in his statement as a severe deterioration of the situation in the field of human rights and as a liquidation of possibilities for solution of conflict, the chairman thinks.
"It is interesting, isn't it? The Armenian mass media and Armenian officials, who occupied the Azerbaijani territories for over 23 years, implement the ethnical cleansing policy against the Azerbaijanis in the occupied territories, and massively, brutally, and continuously violate the rights of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis,turn blind eye to the crimes committed by themselves against Azerbaijan, but is concerned about the violation of Leyla Yunus's rights. Nonsense! It is a well-produced tragicomedy!!!" Suleymanov says.
"I believe that the statements of EU, CoE, PACE,US State Department, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Great Britain, as well as a number of NGOs, made, by the way, at the same time with Armenian mass media, the situation of human rights of which is not pleasant either, and their attempts to politicize the claims on political prisoners in Azerbaijan serve to specific goal: to continuously press Azerbaijan and distract attention from the liberation of Azerbaijani territories by all means, claiming that there are these or other so-called problems, as well as so-called problem of political prisoners," Suleymanov concluded.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.