Friday, January 16

"Azerbaijan "upset" by foreign rights watchdogs' reports"

The following statement was made by the head of the public and political department of the presidential administration Ali Hasanov, after Human Rights and Freedom House assessments' of the country.

"The annual reports by Human Rights Watch and Freedom House on the human rights and freedoms situation in Azerbaijan do not reflect the "objective reality", the head of the public and political department of the presidential administration, Ali Hasanov, has said in an interview with Turan (Azerbaijan News Agency)".

In the same statement Ali Hasanov added, that Azerbaijan being an independent state forms its domestic and foreign policies "on the basis of the will of the people". 

Ali Hasanov, made a bold statement after Presidential elections in October of 2008 stating "Democratic, just and transparent elections were held in Azerbaijan. These elections are the best and the most democratic elections in Azerbaijan". According to him, the opposition didn't participate in the elections simply because it new that the President Ilham Aliyev, would with the majority. Ali Hasanov added "non-participation of opposition in the elections is not authorities' fault. If opposition wants legitimacy, it should participate in the elections".

All this, really makes me wonder...Maybe Azerbaijan really is a DEMOCRACY. It is just none of us (independent observers, political analysts, public, International Organizations) understand its true intentions...  

The following are just some of the points mentioned in the annual report on the state of human rights, released by the International Human Rights Watch organization:
- Azerbaijan failed to demonstrate improvements in human rights during October 2008 presidential elections;
- Freedom of assembly and media was restricted during elections;
- Opposition was prevented by authorities from organizing demonstrations;
About the situation overall:
- Journalists and human rights defenders who are critical of the state continue facing pressure, harassment and arrest;
- Three international radio services- BBC, Radio Free Europa/ Radio Liberty and Voice of America- were taken off their radio waves and made accessible only through satellite receiver or the internet;
- Torture and ill- treatment in custody continues to be a widespread problem...

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