in response to Delegations of the United States of America, Switzerland, Norway,
the European Union and aligned countries
The Delegation of Azerbaijan took note of the statements delivered by the Delegations of the United States of America, Switzerland and Norway, and the European Union also on behalf of aligned countries of Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Canada. We also noted the comments of the RFoM on the case under consideration. Their content will be communicated to the Capital.
First of all, we would like to express profound disappointment with selective approach taken by the respective Delegations. It is utterly unacceptable that the Delegations that are so vocal vis-avis to cases of certain individuals, be it journalists or so-called human rights activists, have been rather silent in face of massive violations of human rights of hundred thousands of Azerbaijani IDPs and refugees. For decades, they have failed to demonstrate principled position condemning the participating State, which has caused human rights violations at such a massive scale. This demonstrates politically-motivated nature of statements delivered under this agenda item and puts under question the very credibility of them. Such a discriminatory attitude by no means contributes to dialogue and security in the OSCE area. Until this policy of double standards is ceased, there will not be a basis for genuine dialogue.
Secondly, we strongly reject attempts by these Delegations, as well as the Representative on Freedom of the Media to interfere with ongoing judicial process on the case of Mr. Mehman Aliyev and Turan information agency. Politically motivated approach demonstrated in these statements to activities of the tax authorities of Azerbaijan is unacceptable.
Calls for “immediate release” of Mr. Aliyev, whose case is under consideration of the judiciary in Azerbaijan, is a clear manifestation of attempts to influence the legal process and prejudge the results of ongoing investigation. On this point, the Delegation of Azerbaijan feels obliged to remind that as per his mandate, the RFoM does not exercise a juridical function, nor can his involvement in any way prejudge national or international legal proceedings. This equally applies to Delegations that spoke on this agenda item.
We urge the concerned participating States and the RFoM to refrain from any action interfering with the juridical processes in participating States. This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
As for the comments regarding “independence” of the Turan information agency, we would like to encourage the concerned Delegations to take more comprehensive approach on this point. Independence of an entity cannot be judged solely on the basis of its attitude towards host authorities, but covers the way of its financing, including grants and donations it receives from foreign governmental and non-governmental agencies.
Finally, the Delegation of Azerbaijan reiterates that no one in Azerbaijan is above the Law and under the national legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan any citizen is entitled to file a complaint on a decision of lower Courts to higher Court instances.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.