FM informs European parliamentarians on human rights situation in Azerbaijan
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.2
By Seba Agayeva - Trend:
Head of the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan informed the European parliamentarians about the human rights situation in the country at the PACE session.
Responding to questions from European MPs, head of the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov reiterated Azerbaijan's position on the issue of detention of Leyla Yunus and her husband Arif Yunusov, as well as other detainees.
"This issue was discussed in Strasbourg and Baku, our position on this issue is known, we also know your position. Let's respect each other's positions," said Mammadyarov.
Regarding the awarding of arrested Azerbaijani human rights activist Anar Mammadi with a prize named after Vaclav Havel, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister said that it is the decision of the committee of the Havel Fund.
"If the committee decided to award him, they're right. We should follow this decision," said the Minister.
Regarding the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in relation to the other arrested political activist Ilgar Mammadov, Mammadyarov said that Azerbaijan has already submitted an appeal against the decision of the European Court and will operate within the legal procedures in each case.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister also spoke on the existing pluralism in the country.
"If you see the opposition newspapers that criticize the Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov, including my personal life, it is the best answer. It shows the high level of tolerance," said Mammadyarov.
Regarding the situation of "political prisoners" Azerbaijani Foreign Minister said that the Council of Europe still has not defined the term "political prisoners."
"When the Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly in particular, give the definition of the "political prisoners" expression and clarify who falls under these criteria, then I will be able to answer your questions," Mammadyarov said.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister also called for respect for the rights of internally displaced persons who were expelled as a result of Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territories.
"These people are deprived of the right to live in places they were born. No one can turn a blind eye to it," the minister said.