BAKU, Azerbaijan, November 14. The Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsperson) of Azerbaijan, Sabina Aliyeva has met with a delegation headed by the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA), Pia Kauma visiting Azerbaijan, the Ombudsman's Office told Trend.
The meeting also involved the Chairman of the Western Azerbaijan Community, Aziz Alakbarli, Deputy Chairman Hikmet Babaoglu, a member of the Azerbaijan delegation to the PACE, Kamal Jafarov, the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Austria, and the Permanent Representative to the OSCE, Rovshan Sadigbayli.
Aliyeva briefed on the ombudsperson's mandate and activities in the protection of human rights and freedoms.
She mentioned the amendments made to the Constitutional Law "On the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsperson) of the Republic of Azerbaijan" and emphasized the importance of reliable protection of human rights.
The ombudsperson informed the guests that within the mandate of the National Preventive Mechanism, visits to persons held in institutions that they cannot abandon by their own will are carried out, the rights and freedoms of everyone, regardless of language, religion, race, and other affiliations, are guaranteed, and discrimination is prevented.
Discussing the policy of occupation and terror by Armenia against Azerbaijan, Aliyeva noted that, as a result of the second Karabakh war, Azerbaijani lands were liberated from occupation, and restoration and construction work is underway in these territories. The process of returning former internally displaced persons to their native lands is ongoing.
The ombudsperson emphasized that about 4,000 Azerbaijanis went missing during the first Karabakh war, and Armenia hasn't shared any information about their fate.
Regarding the mine terror committed by Armenia on the liberated territories, she noted that despite repeated appeals, accurate maps of minefields have not been handed over to Azerbaijan. The installed mines pose a threat to people's lives and hinder the return of former displaced persons to their native lands.
The ombudsperson pointed out that during demining and reconstruction efforts in these areas, mass graves belonging to Azerbaijanis were discovered, investigative missions were conducted, and special reports on the discovered mass graves and Armenia's mine terror were prepared and sent to international organizations, foreign ombudspersons, and national human rights institutions.
She also highlighted the importance of ensuring and protecting the rights and freedoms of Armenians living in Karabakh, and explanations were provided to them on how to address the ombudsperson.
Besides, Aliyeva emphasized the importance of protecting the rights of Azerbaijanis forcibly expelled from the territory of Armenia and called on the OSCE to take appropriate steps in this direction within its mandate.
Alakbarli, Babaoglu, Jafarov, and one of the Khojaly massacre witnesses reminded the forced expulsion of Azerbaijanis from the territory of Armenia and crimes committed against Azerbaijani citizens.
The guests were informed in detail about the resettlement of more than 300,000 Azerbaijanis from Armenia, gross violations of their fundamental rights and freedoms, and the destruction of historical, religious, and cultural monuments belonging to Azerbaijanis.
It was noted that Azerbaijan has put forward initiatives to ensure stable peace in the region and create favorable conditions for joint living in the future, but Armenia has taken no steps towards peacebuilding in the region or ensuring the rights of Azerbaijanis to return.
The meeting also included an exchange of views on the prospects for further cooperation between the structures.
Kauma arrived in Azerbaijan on November 12. During the visit, she has already met with the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the Chairperson of the Azerbaijani Parliament, Sahiba Gafarova.
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