Azerbaijani Ruling Party Considers Opinions Sounded at Helsinki Commission as Biased
Azerbaijan, Baku, 30 July / Trend E.Babayev / The ruling New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) stated that opinions, which were sounded at the US Congress Helsinki Commission, were biased. "We consider that the opinions concerning Azerbaijan's democratic development do not reflect the reality," MP Mubariz Gurbanli, the deputy executive chairman of the NAP, told Trend on 30 July.
Azerbaijan's democratic situation was discussed at Helsinki Commission in Washington on 30 July. At the discussions it was claimed that democratic situation was worsened in Azerbaijan. At the same time, the Commission urged the presence of political prisoners in Azerbaijan and they expressed their worry about the freedom situation at the media.
According to Gurbanli, opinions sounded at these discussions cannot be assessed as the US Congress's position. "These opinions do not express the Congress's will and position. They belong to representatives of separate public organizations, as well as, Freedom House," Gurbanli said and noted that some forces worried about Azerbaijan's development. These forces intend to form false opinions about Azerbaijan through some public organizations. "These generalized discussions are of recommendation character. Opinions sounded with respect to Azerbaijan's democratic development, are not true. Democracy exists and is developing in Azerbaijan. There are governmental bodies to protect and to ensure the democracy. Moreover, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev operates as a provider of democracy in Azerbaijan," the representative of the NAP said.
Gurbanli said that opinions concerning the situation of media and the presence of political prisoners in Azerbaijan were incorrect: "There is not any political prisoner in Azerbaijan. The definition of a political prisoner is not expressed clearly in the documents, which were adopted by the Council of Europe (CE), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations (UN). Therefore, there are not political prisoners in Azerbaijan. Persons, who are engaged in political activities and charged with other crimes, cannot be considered as a political prisoner. As to the media situation, there is a media, whose criticism goes beyond the allowed frames and becomes insult, in Azerbaijan. Persons, who want to see the freedom of media in Azerbaijan, can buy newspapers from the news stands every day and hold a monitoring. Then they will be sure that the limit of media's freedom in Azerbaijan does not yield the limit existing in Europe.
Heydar Aliyev, the chairman of the Supreme Majlis of Nakchivan, established the NAP in 1992. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is the current chairman of the ruling party, which has been in power for 15 years.
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