Wednesday, November 18

"Azerbaijan has more freedom of speech than Germany and France"

While the saga of Emin and Adnan might have ended with the final verdict made on Wednesday last week (November 11), the reactions to the arrest continue. A number of international institutions such as Committee to Protect Journalists, OSCE, Council of Europe, US State Department, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, Freedom House and many others expressed their concerns regarding the verdict, finding it "groundless", demanding an "immediate release" and etc.

It didn't take long for the government of Azerbaijan to come up with their own response. In fact, heavy criticisms were made towards foreign institutions. A statement appeared in newspapers yesterday from the Deputy Foreign Minister Vagif Sadigov to the statements issued by Norwegian and German Embassies in Azerbaijan. In his response to the international statements, Sadigov stressed his surprise and pity, nothing that the court was held according to Azerbaijani laws and procedures (which are indeed perfect on paper but not so much in practice) adding that all the hearings were transparent and reflected in media. Deputy further noted that the statements were received as groundless and affect relations between Azerbaijan and these two countries negatively.

The chief of public and political department of the Presidential Administration, Ali Hasanov's statement on November 16 however was really the icing on the cake. In his press statement Hasanov noted that the "Judicial system in Azerbaijan is independent and executive authorities cannot influence its decisions [...] Azerbaijani laws are applied equally to all citizens and we do not make distinction between those who are closer to the West and all the others" (even though the judge at the court, failed to evaluate evidence suggesting Babek and Vusal's - alleged "victims"- clear involvement and their crime- so the law clearly didn't apply to them) [...] Azerbaijan has more freedom of speech than such European countries as Germany and France".

Perhaps tomorrow or very soon, Honorable Mr. Hasanov will say that Azerbaijan has no human rights problems, no corruption (according to most recent Transparency International Report for 2009, Azerbaijan was worse off among its neighbors with 2.3 rate (0- worse off; 10- no corruption), gull equality, freedom and liberty.

Nobody knows, but this has definitely been a year of surprises so perhaps we will have many more to come.

8 comments:

Sabi said...

Yep, everything is so perfect in AZerbaijan.I do wonder though why the world thinks Azerbaijan is a dictatorship. Hmm, perhaps they're jealous of our oh so perfect country and bright officials.

*SARCASM*

TMS said...

I wonder if they spend sometime to produce such responses, or just throw whatever comes first to their mind.

I hope the second is the case, otherwise we are doomed:)

Anonymous said...

Very harsh Arzu. But true and necessary to say. Our leaders should be afraid of critics like you!!)))

Sabi said...

I hope they don't accuse Arzu with beating up a judo wrestler :)

Ilkin said...

I think they are acting way too defensive. I guess it shows that they weren't ready for such a pressure.

Matthew Bach said...

They're just trying to show the int'l community that they're tough and won't bow to pressure... for now. Sad. Good post, though :)

sofisticos said...

I liked what Saakashvili said when asked about relations with Russia: "you cut our legs and hands and now you say _COME ON TAKE YOUR CRUTCHES, LET'S BE FRIENDS". I hate our official mobsters, like Aliyev, Mehtiyev, almost all the ministers and officials, but I can't approve those relations with armenian NGOs that you, guys, so much fond of. And if Emin offered to let Karabakh go, he deserved what he got. Only iff.

arzu geybulla said...

Sofisticos,

Not sure what you mean when you say Emin let Karabakh go- Karabakh was lost back in the 90s. Emin wasn't part of that. Unless, he has gone back in time and was an state official back then. And Emin always talks about democracy not Karabakh. Maybe you should read more carefully what he has said before.

Regarding Armenian NGOs- i don't know any Armenian NGO. But I do know some young Armenians who are people just like us and frankly speaking i don't see how a 20 year old Armenian is responsible to what has happened in NK, just like I don't see how a 20 year old Azerbaijani was.

Time goes by, there is no dialogue and you can't build anything without a dialogue. But as I see you are not interested any dialogues. Its a pity...