Azerbaijani top official: Freedom House report is based on subjective judgments
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec.13 / Trend, E.Mehdiyev /
Head of Azerbaijani Presidential Administration's Social and Political Department Ali Hasanov assessed annual report of Freedom House on the situation with human rights in the world as a report of the NGO prepared on the basis of subjective judgments.
If an independent country criterion for Freedom House is an observant position of law enforcement agencies towards attempts of a group of irresponsible persons to hold illegal protest actions in the city center and sow anarchy and chaos, while preventing such attempts brings down the country's rating on freedom, then let the organization assess actions of the Central European countries' law enforcement agencies against participants of such actions.
For us, preventing chaos and anarchy, attempts of those who lost the sense of responsibility, violating the internal stability, hindering normal activities of people and other illegal actions of such type is a requirement and observance of the legality. As for the impunity of "journalists" -who insult citizens, slander and are engaged in racketeering using their profession, and betray their people and the state, then it also does not coincide with the wishes of the Azerbaijani society now," Hasanov told Trend on Thursday
Every Azerbaijani citizen regardless of his profession should realize responsibility for his actions and respect the rights and freedoms of others, Hasanov said.
"There is a balance of human rights in legal states. One person's rights end where another person's rights begin. This is the way we understand the balance of human rights in Azerbaijan".
"As for opinions and views on other issues indicated in the report of the Freedom House- restriction of the freedom of journalists, threat to Internet freedom, harassment and arrest of bloggers, presence of intolerable situation in prisons, torture of prisoners and others, we believe that they are nothing more than the subjective opinions," Hasanov said.
"These reports have been mainly based on the information of several NGOs' reports, preparing false reports for them within the country and funded by some Westerns circles of anti-Azerbaijani nature," he said. "They have nothing to do with Azerbaijan's current situation."
Hasanov also commented on the negative evaluation by Freedom House of some reconstruction and resettlement operations, conducted in accordance with the general project of Baku, and added that it is the same old story for Azerbaijan.
"Such accusations are based on the same lie and slander," he said.
"Armenian lobby and some Western anti-Azerbaijani circles are involved in this campaign which started from the Eurovision Song contest," he said.
"All reconstruction and improvement operations in Baku are conducted on the initiative of President Aliyev for the people, their well-being, the accomplishment and beauty of the city," he said.
"This is done for expanding and reconstructing the domestic infrastructure, restoring the city's harmony, which was broken earlier, comfortable living of hundred thousands of residents of cities and tens of thousands of residential areas, ensuring convenient movement in accordance with Baku's general plan," he said.
"But, unfortunately, one could not avoid resettlement of some families to other places during these operations," Hasanov added.
"According to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's special order, the rights of people who have been resettled were fully ensured," he said. "More suitable alternative variants and convenient housing or the relevant payments were proposed to them. These people agreed to this."
"Of course, some people, who have been resettled, were dissatisfied because they did not want to leave the houses where they lived for many years, which is natural," he said. "But there were few dissatisfied people as opposed to those satisfied and those who backed the future improvement of the conditions in these residential areas of Baku."
"Tens of thousands of people have been resettled in Azerbaijan," he said. "Of course, one can find three - five dissatisfied people, so they would talk to the press and appear on television, which has been done."
"How is it possible that the opinions of 3-4 individuals out of tens of thousands of displaced persons are re-published by some Western circles, Western press, and Freedom House includes this in its report? Wouldn't it be better for them to consider the opinions of other displaced people, when preparing this kind of information? If to summarize the report of Freedom House, it does not differ from the reports prepared by a number of NGOs that they submit every year. Azerbaijan is not the only country mentioned there, as there are all post-Soviet countries included as well, in the majority of which, freedom and human rights are allegedly violated and restricted," Hasanov said.
"The negative evaluation of the most post-Soviet countries indicates that the methodology and approach of the "Freedom House" are wrong," he said. "The sources that it relies are making statements proceeding from their subjective positions. Most of these sources are NGOs funded by targeted funds and interested in forming a negative image of Azerbaijan."