Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 12
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:
Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan for Public and Political Issues Ali Hasanov has commented on allegations that Thorhildur Sunna Evarsdóttir, rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on “Reported cases of political prisoners in Azerbaijan”, wasn’t allowed into the country, Trend reports.
Hasanov said that the expression “wasn’t allowed” is a somewhat harsh expression, however, “wasn’t invited” is a totally different expression.
He noted that the visit of any citizen, official in the world to Azerbaijan isn’t prohibited.
“Azerbaijan is an open country, there is a visa system,” he said. “Anyone can come here. PACE is one of the partner organizations of Azerbaijan, we have been cooperating for years, and we take into account possible recommendations. Of course, Azerbaijan has its own state interests, and we stand from the position of these interests In cases of political prisoners, freedom of speech and the press, we sometimes unite on a single platform, agree with their opinions and in some cases not. That’s because we see a biased attitude.”
“We stated earlier, we declare today as well that there are no political prisoners in Azerbaijan,” Hasanov added. “There are people convicted of certain crimes. Each of them can exercise their rights both in Azerbaijan and or Europe. European law also applies in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has repeatedly taken note of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. If someone doesn’t trust the courts, the legal system of Azerbaijan, he or she can appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Political prisoner is a person who is convicted because of political worldview, activity. In this matter, we don’t agree with the Council of Europe.”
Thorhildur Sunna Evarsdóttir, PACE rapporteur on “Reported cases of political prisoners in Azerbaijan”, visited Azerbaijan Sept. 5-7.