Mission of Azerbaijan to OSCE: Armenia has a peculiar understanding of the call of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen to prepare populations for peace

Mission of Azerbaijan to OSCE: Armenia has a peculiar understanding of the call of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen to prepare populations for peace
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  • calendar-gray 05 June 2020

Deputy Chief of Mission of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Rovshan Sadigbeyli has delivered a speech at the 1270th meeting of the Permanent Council, APA reports.

The speech reads: "We resolutely reject this yet another attempt of Armenia to mislead the international community with the obvious purpose of distracting the attention from its continued military occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and surrounding districts, accompanied by atrocity crimes and gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms committed against hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis in the course of the aggression. The recently published a comprehensive report on war crimes in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and Armenia's responsibility provide convincing evidence as to the range, variety and consistency of Armenia's commission of multiple war crimes, including those relating to civilian deaths or injuries; civilian property; the mistreatment of detainees and prisoners of war; the taking of hostages; ethnic cleansing, forced displacement and changing the character of the occupied territory; the destruction of cultural heritage; and damage to the natural environment.

 Some of the offenses examined in the reported amount to the crime of genocide, as ethnic Azerbaijanis have been targeted because of their nationality and/or ethnicity, and the relevant intent has been to destroy the group in part (UN Doc. A/74/676-S/2020/90). It is curious that Armenia a country which bears full responsibility for unleashing the war against Azerbaijan, carrying out ethnic cleansing on a massive scale, committing other heinous crimes during the conflict, advocating undisguised racist ideology and disregarding the binding resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and the numerous documents and decisions of other international organizations attempt to criticize others and lecture them on the standard of civilization and human dignity.

Any such allegations by Armenia are therefore irrelevant and preposterous since widespread and systematic atrocities against Azerbaijani civilians and discrimination on ethnic grounds have long been elevated to the State policy of that country, Unlike Azerbaijan and other States in the region, Armenia is a uniquely mono-ethnic country, having achieved such a situation by expelling all non-Armenians, including Azerbaijanis. I am one of those Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia and can spend hours testifying to the hate speech and discrimination against myself and my family only because I am Azerbaijani. So, the Armenian Ambassador can recite his protracted allegations elsewhere, but not on my watch. Armenia has applied the same policy and the practice of creating ethnically homogenous areas to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, from which all non-Armenians were expelled and where it has set up a subordinate racist regime. Against this background, Armenia's accusations of Azerbaijan of hate speech are illustrative of the aggressor's false sense of reality.

 That hatred, animosity, and intolerance on ethnic and religious grounds are at the core of this policy is evidenced in the unconcealed conviction of the Armenian leadership regarding the "ethnic incompatibility" between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. While such an odious the concept has been part and parcel of the long-standing ideology followed in Armenia, this specific phrase was used for the first time in a statement of Robert Kocharian when he was the President of Armenia. As the then Secretary-General of the Council "Kocharian's comment was tantamount to warmongering" and called "to refrain from bellicose or hate rhetoric". The then President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Peter Schieder, observed that "since its creation, the Council of Europe has never heard the phrase 'ethnic incompatibility".

Europe, Walter Schwimmer, said, The international community, including the relevant United Nations bodies and other international organizations have repeatedly expressed serious concern about the spirit of intolerance prevailing in Armenia and the discriminatory policies and practices pursued in that country.

Thus, in its concluding observations on the periodic reports of Armenia, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed concem at: reports of (i) "racist hate speech and discriminatory statements in the public discourse, including by public and political figures and in the media, in particular on the Internet, mainly against religious minorities, asylum-seekers, and refugees"; (ii) "discrimination in the granting of asylum status based on ethnicity, religion or national origin"; and (iii) "by the absence of legislation criminalizing racist organizations and participation in such organizations..." (UN Doc. CERD/C/ARM/CO/7-11). In its report on Armenia of June 2016, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) particularly noted "intolerant statements against Azerbaijanis". The same report noted "considerable level of prejudices towards Jews". ECRI has also noted "recurrent instances of hate speech against (members of) non-traditional religious groups."

 As far as the case of "Makuchyan and Minasyan v. Azerbaijan and Hungary" is concerned, Armenia's statement in that regard is yet another example of its practice of arbitrary and selective interpretation of the documents and decisions adopted by international bodies. The Delegation of Azerbaijan has provided the participating States with information on Ramil Safarov in its Note Verbale SEC/DEL/184/20. It is suffice to mention here that this incident should only be seen in the context of the ongoing illegal occupation by Armenia of the territories of Azerbaijan, serious crimes committed against the Azerbaijan civilian population during the aggression, and the harsh consequences of the war for hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani internally displaced persons and refugees who were forced to leave their homes. Armenia's intention to use the European Court of Human Rights in its smear campaign against Azerbaijan must be rejected. In fact, Armenia's allegations on the case find no support whatsoever in the Court's judgment: First, despite the claims of the applicants, the Court found no violations in actions of Hungary, whose authorities transferred Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan.

 The Court observed that "the Hungarian authorities followed the procedure set out in the Transfer Convention in its entirety". In other words, Ramil Safarov was legally transferred by the Hungarian government to Azerbaijan in accordance with the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. Second, the Court stressed that "it does not have the authority to review the Contracting Parties compliance with instruments other than the European Convention on Human Rights and its Protocols", pointing out in that regard that "it has no authority, therefore, to determine whether Azerbaijan has complied with its obligations under the Transfer Convention". Third, the Court dismissed the applicants' complaint under Article 38 of the European Convention on Human Rights with regard to the alleged failure of Azerbaijan and Hungary to cooperate with the Court. Thus, according to the judgment, "it cannot be said that either of the respondent Government had failed to cooperate with the Court in the present case" and, "consequently, the Court considers that there has been no failure of Azerbaijan or of Hungary to comply with Article 38 of the Convention in the present case". Fourth, in contrast to what Armenia asserts, the Court observed that the subject-matter of the case in the question was the right to life, while finding no violation by Azerbaijan of a substantive limb of Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court specifically noted in that regard that it "cannot but conclude that, on the facts of the case, as presented by the applicants, it has not been convincingly demonstrated that the State of Azerbaijan "clearly and unequivocally" "acknowledged" and "adopted" "as its own" R.S.'s deplorable acts, thus assuming, as such, responsibility for his actual killing of G.M. and the preparations for the murder of the first applicant". 

Consequently, according to the Court, the private acts of Ramil Safarov cannot be held imputable to Azerbaijan as a whole. Fifth, there are no references whatsoever in the judgment to the so-called "Azerbaijan's policy of Armenophobia" or "the promotion on the state-level of hate crimes committed against the Armenians by Azerbaijan", as Armenia claims. The allegation that the ruling of the Court is a demand addressed to Azerbaijan to "end its racist policy towards Armenians" is also flawed. On the contrary, the Court dismissed the applicant's request to consider ordering general and individual measures, including the re-opening of domestic proceedings, the revocation of the 2012 presidential order pardoning Ramil Safarov, the revision by Azerbaijan and Hungary of their legislation and practice in respect of the transfer of sentenced persons etc. The Court responded very clearly to that request by considering it inappropriate to indicate the need for any general or individual measures in respect of Azerbaijan.

Sixth, Armenia must put an end to its hypocrisy and selectivity with regard to the respect for the human rights standards and the implementation of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, starting with complying with the same Court's leading judgment of 16 June 2015 in the case of Chiragov and Others v. Armenia (Application no. 13216/05). As is known, having examined the evidence presented, the Grand Chamber of the European Court established that Armenia exercises effective control over the Nagorno-Karabakh region and other occupied territories of Azerbaijan reaffirmed the right of displaced persons to return to their homes or places of habitual residence and established the responsibility of Armenia for violations of the rights of the Azerbaijani internally displaced persons.

 The Statement by the Armenian Delegation once again demonstrated that this participating State has a peculiar understanding of the call of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen to prepare populations for peace. Armenia must realize the lack of any prospect of its attempts to mislead the international community as to the essence, causes, and consequences of the war it unleashed against Azerbaijan. As Azerbaijan has consistently stated, the primary reason for the continuation of the conflict and, as a result, of increased tensions is the unlawful occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan. If Armenia is genuinely interested in a constructive search for peace in the region, it must comply with its international obligations, withdraw its forces from the Nagorno- Karabakh region and other occupied territories of Azerbaijan, which will ensure the human rights and fundamental freedoms of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis expelled from their homes and properties in these territories. 

Finally, rather than showcasing in broad daylight the deep-rooted culture of hatred and animosity towards everything that is related to Azerbaijan, Armenia must drop its futile attempts to mislead its own people and the wider international community, comply with its international obligations and engage in good faith in the conflict-settlement process. Thank you, Mr. Chairperson."

Zumrud Pashkin

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