Azerbaijani president calls PACE resolution ‘scrap of paper’
“The last [PACE] resolution adopted in connection with Azerbaijan has no more value for us than a scrap of paper. We do not accept any of the far-fetched accusations made there and we will not comply with any of their ‘demands’, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on February 5 at a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Aliyev was referring to a PACE resolution adopted in late January, which says that the problem of political prisoners in Azerbaijan is “systemic in nature” and it needs to be solved once and for all.
The Azerbaijani delegation categorically denied the existence of political prisoners in Azerbaijan and was against the adoption of the resolution; representatives of Turkey and several other countries supported it in this.
“They are trying to present Azerbaijan only in black colors and again, relying on unreasonable, falsified data, publish reports and adopt resolutions. Allegedly, they say, there are political prisoners in Azerbaijan, supposedly in Azerbaijan the democratic process is obstructed. All this is a lie, there are no political prisoners in Azerbaijan, we know this well,” Ilham Aliyev said at a meeting with Cavusoglu.
International human rights organizations routinely rate Azerbaijan low on freedom of speech and other human rights.
The PACE rapporteur on political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Torhildur Sunna Evarsdottir, repeatedly touched on this issue in her reports.
According to the lists of Azerbaijani human rights activists, the number of political prisoners in the country at the moment is between 120 to 136 people.
Aliyev also said at the meeting with Cavusoglu that in the Council of Europe ‘there is a process of degradation’:
“This organization is losing its importance in the international arena. It is not able to exert any influence on the processes taking place in the world. The authority of the organization is very down, and the main reason for this, perhaps, is the overbearing hypocrisy, double standards and injustice”, Azertag quotes Ilham Aliyev as saying.