Azerbaijani Ombudsman addresses open protest letter to European Ombudsman Institute

Azerbaijani Ombudsman addresses open protest letter to European Ombudsman Institute
  • Clock-gray 17:37
  • calendar-gray 04 March 2021

Commissioner for Human Rights of the Republic of Azerbaijan (Ombudsman) Sabina Aliyeva has addressed an open protest letter to the President and Board Members of the European Ombudsman Institute (EOI) in response to the statement of the Secretary-General of this institute, Ombudsman Apparatus told APA.

The letter reads:

"In response to the statement of the Secretary General of the EOI, Mr. Josef Siegele, dated 26 February 2021, it is important to remind that persons detained by the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan are not considered as prisoners of war either under international humanitarian law or under any convention. As they were detained while illegally entering the liberated territories of Azerbaijan. They are the Armenian servicemen sent to Azerbaijan almost 20 days after the war, after the signing of a joint statement on the cessation of all hostilities.

They were sabotage group and they committed terror act and other crimes in the territory of Azerbaijan as a result of which four military servicemen of the Azerbaijani Army were killed and one civilian was severely injured. They were detained as a result of anti-terroristic operation carried out by the Azerbaijani Army and handed over to investigation. Their prosecution according to the national legislation of Azerbaijan is underway.

It should be noted that the protection of human rights of those detained persons are in the focus of the Ombudsman of Azerbaijan. The Ombudsman has visited them in the place of detention and met them in confidential manner to examine the treatment towards them.

Azerbaijan has liberated the occupied territories and restored its territorial integrity in accordance with international law. As a result of this, there is no Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict. All prisoners of war were returned to Armenia by Azerbaijan upon the signing the joint statement dated 10 November 2020.

The following is another proof of Mr. Siegele’s biased approach towards Azerbaijan.  This statement was made on 26 February, when Azerbaijan commemorates the Khojaly Genocide committed by the political and military leadership of Armenia on February 26, 1992. On the night from February 25 to 26, 1992, the Armenian armed forces and terroristic groups attacked innocent civilians in Khojaly town of Azerbaijan. As a result of this attack 613 people, including 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly, were murdered with special cruelty. We consider that he is quite well informed about it as he many times received the Azerbaijani Ombudsman’s statements on this issue. But unfortunately, he has never made any statement condemning neither this act of genocide nor the Armenia’s policy of the occupation.   

Considering his biased approach, we are not surprised by this statement of Mr. Siegele which mainly based on his personal view. However, we are deeply concerned that he abused his position at the EOI, which represents the network of the Ombudsman Institutes, by issuing baseless and biased statements on the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict.

We call on all members of the EOI to take necessary steps about Mr. Siegele to stop him using the name of this network for the biased and politicized statements which serves to the interest of the certain circles aiming at further triggering the conflict between two nations and supporting the ideology of Azerbaijanphobia in Armenian society."

Asmar Gabil

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