INSTITUTE FOR REPORTERS’ FREEDOM AND SAFETY STATEMENT

January 15th, 2010
The Institute for Reporters` Freedom and Safety condemns provocation against foreign diplomats in the Beneniyar village of the Julfa region in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, and assesses this as a violation of freedom of expression. Representatives of the US and Norwegian embassies who wanted to investigate facts of violation of human rights in Beneniyar village went to village on 13 January. 

A group of people stopped their cars at the entrance of the village and threatened the diplomats and forced them to leave the village without making any contact with the residents of the village.
IRFS declares that this action against the representatives of diplomatic corps is a violation of freedom to obtaining of information and contradicts article 50 (freedom of expression) of the Azerbaijan Republic Constitution, and article 2 of the Azerbaijan Republic Law on Obtaining Information.
IRFS states that this incident has violated item d in Article 3 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations Done at Vienna on 18 April 1961, “Ascertaining by all lawful means conditions and developments in the receiving State, and reporting thereon to the Government of the sending State.”
IRFS emphasizes that according to international legislation, human rights is not considered the internal work of any country. For this reason, people who do not have citizenship have the right to investigate violation cases of human rights.
IRFS states that this incident that took place against the diplomatic corps representatives confirms human rights violations and the existence of pressure and prosecution cases against independent journalists, human rights defenders, and regular citizens by authoritarian regime in Nakhchivan.  
IRFS calls on the leadership of Azerbaijan and the Nakhchivan AR to adhere to laws and international conventions to which Azerbaijan is a signatory to, and apologizes for the disrespect and irregularity against the diplomatic corps representatives.