Today, Germany-based Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Azerbaijan Youth Club held a conference titled “Present State of Human Rights in Azerbaijan: problems and international standards.”
Representatives of several embassies, leaders of oppositional parties, and representatives of the NGOs were in attendance. The conference organizers expressed their disappointment for the absence of OSCE, CoE and the Azerbaijani government’s representatives.
It was stated in the conference that the human rights situation in Azerbaijan is very strained. The participants also spoke about the deteriorating state of freedom of expression, free elections, freedom of assembly and the right for property.
“The worst situation is in the sphere of freedom of expression . The persons, who voice the truth, are either arrested or charged with narcotics. Elmar Huseynov’s murder, Eynulla Fatullayev’s and the bloggers’ imprisonment strengthened the self-censorship in the media,” IRFS chairman Emin Huseynov noted.
The forum participants also touched on the parliamentary elections, which were claimed to be the most falsified elections within past 30 years. “Even the pluralism in 1990s elections were better than that in 2010 elections. Then it was possible to realize the freedom of assembly, whereas it is not possible in Azerbaijan in 2010,” Musavat Party representative Arif Hajili noted.
The forum attendees also spoke about the violation of rights for property. The speakers forecasted an increase in the violation of property rights. They related it to the rise of oil prices. “In Azerbaijan, the people’s property, houses and estates are forcefully confiscated. Democracy starts from people’s right for property. The property right depends on the right to free elections. There is no property right in a country which lacks the right to free elections,” Center of Assistance for Economic Initiatives Head Azer Mehdiyev said.
“The people’s complaints are not investigated. The Courts don’t provide legal evaluation of complaints, they more frequently abide by orders and instructions. Even the European Court of Human Rights decisions are ignored,” lawyer Rasul Jafarov said.
Political expert Arastun Orujlu criticized the international organizations, including CoE, OSCE, EU and foreign embassies. He noted that the embassies of EU countries in Azerbaijan have done nothing for the protection of human rights in Azerbaijan.
Economic expert Natig Jafarli said that the ensuring of long-term stability depends on the ensuring of democracy, human rights and property rights.
Musavat Party Head Isa Gambar blamed the Aliyev regime for the violation of human rights. He also blamed Russia for not ensuring democracy and human rights in the region. “The authoritarian regime in Russia formed the authoritarian union of CIS states and are eliminating all democratic standards in the region,” he said.
Musavat Leader also called for the Azerbaijani rights defenders to help protect Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s rights. “What can we understand if the Julian Assange faces the same fate of Azadlig Editor Ganimat Zahid. The human rights organizations should ensure his defense.”