On December 23, a draft law on the situation of human rights in America was presented at the national parliament of Azerbaijan. The bill was introduced by Rovshan Rzayev who happens to be the chairman of the legal policy and state building committee of the Azerbaijani Parliament and also board member of the Azerbaijan community of NK region of Azerbaijan Republic.
The draft law focuses on the double standards used by a group of selected countries and organizations against Azerbaijan. The main country targeted in the bill (as you can tell from the name) is United States and some of its organizations. “These organizations are trying to influence the country’s internal and foreign policy through various means", reads the draft bill.
“One of the ways to constantly influence Azerbaijan is holding biased and one sided position on human rights and democracy issues”.
"While it regularly prepared reports on the situation of human rights across the world, United States itself avoids joining some of the important international human rights treaties"
"So far, US signed only 4 out of 14 documents prepared by the UN on human rights. US remains among the two countries (other one being Somalia) who has not ratified the convention on children's rights", reads the bill.
"In recent years we have seen growth in racial and religious discrimination, xenophobia, and Islamophobia as well as a total control over society, invasion of privacy and increased measures of restrictions over freedom of expression and media".
"Legal corruption and lobbying have become main attributes of US political system".
"Negative developments taking place within the US and its claims for world hegemony pushes Azerbaijan to reassess its partnership and the years of bilateral relations with this country".
The bill is divided into several parts focusing on discrimination on race and religion; surveillance; corruption; election fraud; violation of international rights and principles in United States.
"One third of America's black population is either in prison, custody or under investigation". The bill also mentions Ferguson case. "The events which followed after the murder, demonstrated discrimination, police arbitrariness, blatant violation of citizen's rights to freedom of assembly".
Even Trump made it into the bill too. "It is no coincidence that the US Presidential candidate Donald Trump has proposed a ban on entry for Muslims".
Under the subheading of surveillance and restrictions to freedom of speech and press, the bill notes how mass surveillance following the 9/11 events has spread across the whole country.
Corruption section is a gem on its own. "80% of the country's population thinks state structures are completely corrupted. In 2015 alone there were 2320criminal cases opened against various government officials".
But many of these cases claims the bill are kept away from media and the American people.
Last but not least, the bill also mentions mass election violations. "No one doubts, that the US election system is defective" says the bill.
"The investigation into election fraud in 2000 were not completed. The recount of votes in the state of Florida was never completed" reads the bill.
"The voters registration is also in a terrible state. So if the citizen is not registered as a voter, he/she cannot vote. This in return leaves 1/4 of America's voters unable to vote".
The bill notes that in last elections in America, some of the European observers (from the European Parliament) were not allowed to choose which polling stations to choose for observation. "During voting, observers are not allowed to take pictures, use mobile phones and even talk to other other people".
At the very end, the bill provides a list of recommendations.
To the MFA bill suggests visa bans based on the following list
- Representatives of US government and their family members;
- Congressmen, senators, and their family members who continuously work on discrediting Azerbaijan at the US Congress;
- High ranking government officials and experts working with Armenian diaspora organizations and lobby groups;
- Heads of mainstream media outlets, representatives of non-governmental organizations and experts who are engaged in slander and smear;
- Those engaged in election violations;
- Those who are against US joining human rights focused international agreements".
The Cabinet of Ministers is advised to suspend all agreements Azerbaijani state has signed with American companies.
Representative of private sector are advised to suspend all agreements with American companies and refuse any new economic/commercial ties with American companies.
To the relevant executive powers the bill advise:
- to stop all projects implemented by US-based organizations and freeze their bank accounts (as if that has not happened already);
- to stop activities of all non-governmental organizations funded by the State Department and US Congress with representatives in Azerbaijan;
- to bad transportation of any American military and other goods through Azerbaijan;
To the United States:
- stop gross violation of human rights, racial and religious discrimination, xenophobia and Islamophobia;
- end inhuman treatment of prisoners;
- stop use of force against peaceful protesters;
- fight corruption;
- give up lobbying;
So there you have it (this is not all but most of the translation) I can now tell everyone that I have lived to see the days when my country drowning in corruption, with over 80 political prisoners, with no freedom of expression and media freedoms is talking about sanctions against United States.
Can it get any more ridiculous than this?! I now fear it might....