US Department of State annual report on Azerbaijan biased, says ruling party (UPDATE)

Details added (first version posted on 11:16)

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 26

By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:

The annual report of the US Department of State isn't based on the data of objective sources, Aydin Mirzazadeh, the member of the political council and the head of the political analysis and forecasting department at the executive secretariat of Azerbaijan's ruling New Azerbaijan Party, told Trend on June 26.

He was commenting on the criticism in the annual report of the US Department of State on human rights in Azerbaijan.

Mirzazadeh said the sources, assessing the real situation and objectively covering the occurring processes, remained outside the attention of those who made the report.

The MP said that accusing Azerbaijan of violating human rights is fundamentally wrong.

"Human rights are enshrined by law in Azerbaijan. There is freedom of speech, press and political activity in Azerbaijan," Mirzazadeh said, adding that Azerbaijan is an open society.

"The country has an extensive network of NGOs, and the government can be openly criticized," Mirzazadeh further said. "After all the mentioned, there are no grounds to accuse Azerbaijan of violating human rights."

He said it is unfair to asses a society, the real situation in it, protecting several persons who have violated the law.

"Certainly, if the representatives of the US Department of State visited Azerbaijan, they would have had quite a different opinion," said Mirzazadeh.

He expressed regret that the accusations in connection with the human rights violations have recently been flowing onto Azerbaijan, as if being controlled from a single center.

"Either the European Parliament, or the Department of State is trying to touch upon one and the same issue. Their statements differ after visiting Azerbaijan and getting acquainted with the real situation. Apparently, Azerbaijan's independent policy and the serious attitude towards the national values ​​bother some people," he said.

Mirzazadeh added that such criticism will not force Azerbaijan to turn from the path of democracy and human rights, chosen by the country.

Edited by SI

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