Azerbaijan calls on CE commissioner to be impartial - Foreign Ministry (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 13:45)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 27
Azerbaijan calls on the Council of Europe commissioner to be impartial, as required by her mandate, and to refrain from actions and statements that may damage the reputation of the Council of Europe, Trend reports on April 27 referring to the commentary of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry regarding the letter addressed to the president of Azerbaijan by Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic.
"Given the interest of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights in tracking the latest human rights situation in connection with the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in recent months, I would like to stress that the conflict lasted almost 30 years, caused enormous humanitarian consequences, suffering and the rights of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis were violated,” the commentary says. “However, all this suffering and violations went unnoticed by the current commissioner, as well as by her predecessors, under the pretext that “this does not belong to the mandate of the commissioner”.”
“The liberation of the Azerbaijani lands revealed the terrifying scale of destruction in these territories during the years of their illegal occupation by Armenia,” the commentary says.
“As part of a targeted policy, hundreds of historical monuments, dozens of museums, mosques, and cultural heritage sites of Azerbaijan were destroyed, plundered, and vandalized,” the commentary says. “There are many photo and video materials reflecting the shameful treatment with holy places when ancient mosques in the occupied territories were desecrated and turned into a pigsty.”
“Moreover, during the 44-day second Nagorno-Karabakh war, Armenia committed a number of horrific war crimes by violating the international humanitarian law,” the commentary says.
“Ballistic missile attacks on densely populated residential areas of Ganja and Barda, as well as other cities of Azerbaijan, located far from the front line, resulted in the death of more than a hundred civilians,” the commentary says. “All these horrible facts were unfortunately ignored by the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights. No one can argue that these issues, which directly affect the lives and rights of civilians, go beyond the mandate of the commissioner.”
“Amid the abovementioned situation, the commissioner began to show interest in political issues, apparently forgetting about the restrictions imposed by the aforementioned "mandate",” the commentary says. “In fact, this is one of the signs of double standards and a selective approach that Azerbaijan is often subjected to by various structures of the Council of Europe.”