Azerbaiajn, Baku, Nov. 4 / Trend /
PACE rapporteur Christoph Strasser's statements raise doubts about his impartiality toward Azerbaijan, Head of the Presidential Administration's Law Enforcement Bodies Work Department Fuad Alasgarov said in an interview with the Azerbaijani media.
"First of all, I consider it necessary to clarify that reports urging that rapporteur Strasser failed to get a visa to Azerbaijan is wrong," he said. "Strasser has not been officially denied a visa. He intended to visit our country on November 4. But reports released on October 28 said reportedly Strasser cancels his visit because Azerbaijan's consent was not received. Just agree that absence of answer, when certain time has been left to the schduled visit, is different to the official denial of a visa."
Strasser's interview, which was published in that period - Oct. 28-29, contained surprising statements. They are absolutely incompatible with the rapporteur's status and contradict the PACE's decision.
PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights decided to change the name of the next report on this issue on October 5, 2011. Earlier, the original report was named "Definition of political prisoners / Continuation of the political prisoners' issue consideration in Azerbaijan". But now it will be called "Reconsideration of the political prisoners' issue". The report must cover not only Azerbaijan, but the situation in the CE member-states in general, he said.
"Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated that in its activity, the Council of Europe must not allow the discrimination and double standards. So, it must strictly adhere to its own principles," he said. "The issue of political prisoners must be raised toward any country where their presence is assumed or must not be raised at all. We have consistently advocated this position for many years. In this regard, I think that the PACE's decision to rename the report, its spreading to other countries means a victory for common sense and a more objective attitude to the problem."
However, despite the PACE committee's decision, in his interview Strasser said the next report will be exclusively about Azerbaijan. "Moreover, without considering any material he said the report will not be positive for our country," he said. "His statements raise serious doubts of his objectivity and impartiality in relation to Azerbaijan."