Official Baku Says Views Voiced at Helsinki Commission are Biased
Azerbaijan, Baku, 30 July / Trend corr. S.Agayeva/ Official Baku thinks the views voiced at yesterday's discussion at the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission) are biased.
"I think the views voiced by Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Democracy & Human Rights, representative of Freedom House Chris Walker do not reflect the reality, are biased and provocative," Head of the Political Analysis & Information Department at the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Elnur Aslanov said to Trend on 30 July.
On 29 July, Washington hosted discussion at the Helsinki Commission of the situation in Azerbaijan, during which Mr. Walker and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Kramer criticized the Azerbaijani authorities on the issues regarding human rights, media and democracy.
"Azerbaijan is an area which chose democracy as the priority for its national development strategy. During recent years Azerbaijan has been an intensively modernizing area, which pursues independent economic and political strategy," said Aslanov.
"Furthermore, there is a transparent atmosphere in the society, mass media and political organizations freely function, and religious tolerance is at high level in the country. That only briefly embodies the core of country's current development. Therefore, the views that the representative of Freedom House stated during the hearings, does not reflect reality and I think Freedom House needs a long term and serious familiarization with our country. They obviously lack this familiarization in order to draw such conclusions," Aslanov said.
According to Aslanov, it is simply impossible not to see big efforts made in the country by the government to develop civil society institutions, to observe human rights, to develop press, etc. "However, some non-governmental organizations have monopolized the conception of freedom and democracy by taking advantage of them to get grants and financial aid. I understand them, because it is difficult to get new financial aid without critics, whom to criticize if not newly-independent states," he said.
The statements made during the hearing that the rights of the citizens to change the power by peaceful means are restricted in Azerbaijan, do not conform to reality. "The upcoming presidential elections will be the sixth presidential elections in Azerbaijan, and the citizens have repeatedly exercised their rights to elect legislative and municipal powers. Azerbaijan has its own path leading to democracy which conforms to the level of development of state and society," he stated.
According to Aslanov, the authorities are well-aware of the aim of the statements made prior to the elections "quite often by the so-called 'human right activists' who seal these terms".
"I am sorry to disappoint those who cherish a hope for another scenario of the presidential elections, but the elections will be held under most democratic and transparent conditions. There are all grounds and conditions with this regard and the level preparation for the elections is a striking example to it," Aslanov said.
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