BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct. 31
By Ilhama Isabalayeva - Trend:
Despite that Azerbaijanis living in Armenia were deported, Azerbaijan provides protection of the rights of tens of thousands of Armenians living in the country, Azerbaijan’s Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) Elmira Suleymanova said at the Religion and Human Rights conference in Baku Oct. 31, Trend reports.
The ombudsman said that as a result of the Armenian aggression, which lasts 30 years, not a single Azerbaijani has been left out of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis in Armenia, created on Azerbaijan’s historical lands.
“As a result of creation of a mono-ethnic state by Armenia, a policy of ethnic cleansing, Azerbaijanis underwent mass deportation,” Suleymanova noted. “Despite this, the rights of tens of thousands of Armenians living in Azerbaijan are respected and protected.”
The ombudsman added that in accordance with the law, in Azerbaijan, religion is separated from the state, and all religious denominations are equal before the law.
“National leader Heydar Aliyev paid particular attention to the rights of small nations, representatives of various religions,” Suleymanova said. “His policy was built on the principles of equality. Azerbaijan, which is the real cradle of the ideas of tolerance, is an example, a model for all countries of the world in the field of tolerance and multiculturalism. This isn’t only theory, but also ongoing policy.”
The ombudsman noted that although during the period of activity, the Ombudsman’s Office received complaints of various contents, there wasn’t a single complaint regarding religious persecution or violation of religious freedoms.
“Unfortunately, some states manipulate religion, allowing xenophobia, cruelty, massively violate human rights and carry out the massacre of civilians,” Suleymanova added. “From this point of view, religion can be used as a tool of destruction both within the state and in interstate relations. However, in reality, religion is a force that creates peace among nations and plays the role of a bridge between them.”