Samad Seyidov: “Attitude to political prisoner issue changed in report prepared at PACE on Azerbaijan”
- 11 December 2019
“This week, the meetings of Bureau, Political issues and democracy, Legal issues and human rights and Monitoring committees of Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe are being held in Paris City, and all these meetings are significant for us”, said Samed Seyidov, Head of Azerbaijani delegation at Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) in his statement to APA.
S. Seyidov said that firstly the meeting of the Political Committee was held. The change regarding procedural rules proposed by Azerbaijan was adopted at that meeting: “We think that now the activity of the Council of Europe will be more balanced and more objective because Azerbaijan proposed to take into consideration the opinions of great majority of the PACE members when approving any issue and to eliminate the practice of interference into any issue and bringing any issue to the agenda through adoption of a decision by a few PACE members gathered together. I think that just for this reason the accepted proposal related to this issue has been supported by the member countries, as well as creates conditions for demonstration of a more objective and more balanced position by the Council of Europe”.
Mentioning the discussions at human rights committee, S. Seyidov stated that the discussions were more balanced and more objective on the report prepared by Sunna Thorhildur, rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on political prisoners in Azerbaijan:
“The issue regarding persons who were presented as political prisoners always caused great scandals, disputes, confrontations and divergences between Azerbaijan and Council of Europe. There was a basis for this. Because unknown, non-objective, biased, purposeful lists were submitted by people, organizations from different places. These issues were put aside by the rapporteur in a report on Azerbaijan which was discussed yesterday at the Human Rights Committee. Not because the submission of these lists has stopped. No, the lists are still being sent from different places. But the approach has changed. The approach has been formed based on the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. We consider that this is a completely right approach. We have always said that Azerbaijan is under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, and therefore its decisions are crucial and important to us. The list of any organization or non-governmental body cannot be included in the documents. It is very significant and crucial to reflect this approach in the report."
The head of the delegation of Azerbaijan in PACE said that alongside with positive highlights there were many critical points in the report: “The report includes nuances such as non-implementation of the decisions of European Court of Human Rights, violation of European Court of Human Rights especially protocol 18, regularly violation of some human rights in Azerbaijan. All of these are materials for discussion and analysis. We will investigate the issues in this direction constructively. But the most important issue is the atmosphere in this report. We will today discuss this issue again in the Monitoring Committee. I consider that we will see that atmosphere in the Monitoring Committee as well. The most important issue is that the European Council intends to organize relations and ties with Azerbaijan constructively, in the form of a dialogue in this direction and the report in this direction has been presented.”
As for the probability of observation of different attitudes during the discussion of the report at the Monitoring Committee, S. Seyidov stressed that he didn’t believe that this would happen: “Because that reporter will come to the Monitoring Committee, and that report will be discussed there. It is possible that some additional comments will be voiced. But the general spirit is guided by the constructive, effective and above all professional attitude”.
S. Seyidov brought to the notice that the issue of implementation of early election to Azerbaijani Parliament would be discussed at Bureau on December 13 and noted that the letter on observation of the election signed by Chairman of Azerbaijani Parliament had already been submitted to President of Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe: “We are ready to receive the observation missions. I will provide at the Bureau the information about the goal and the causal issues of the early election in Azerbaijan. I will talk about the status of the procedural rules, the decision delivered by the Constitution Court and the content of the Presidential Order. Probably, the questions will be posed regarding the reasons for the early election, and we are ready to answer such questions. Most importantly, once again we have already sent our invitation on constructive cooperation with the Council of Europe. The invitation letter is already on the desk of President of Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe”.