UN Special Rapporteur’s statement on Azerbaijan part of ordered campaign on eve of European Games (UPDATE)
details added (first version posted at 13:40)
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 3
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:
UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders Michel Forst's statement on Azerbaijan harms the spirit of cooperation, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmet Hajiyev told Trend on June 3.
Hajiyev was commenting on UN Special Rapporteur Michel Forst's statement.
"This statement is part of an ordered campaign conducted by certain circles against Azerbaijan on the eve of the European Games," Hajiyev said.
"Azerbaijan has always cooperated with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights constructively," he said. "From this point of view, such a statement causes bewilderment. According to the UN documents, the sport serves to unite the peoples and it must be apolitical. Forst's attempts to politicize it are contrary to the purposes and objectives of the Olympic Charter."
"While casting a shadow on the legal and judicial system of Azerbaijan, Forst's statement distorts the essence of the referred investigations," he said. "The call for releasing the individuals, accused of specific criminal acts, is legally unfounded. It is the violation of the principle of the rule of law."
"If Forst is so "principled" in human rights, then, first of all, he must talk about the protection of the rights of Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons, deprived of all their fundamental rights as a result of Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan," Hajiyev said.
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 US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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