APA presents interview with President of the All-Russian Azerbaijani Congress (ARAC), Prof. Fazil Gurbanov
Q: Mr. Fazil, ARAC has filed a cassation complaint to the Presidium of the Supreme Court of Russia against the verdict of liquidation. Is there a hope for a positive response?
A: Yes, today our lawyer has filed a cassation appeal to the Presidium of Russia’s Supreme Court against the verdict to cancel the Congress’s registration. We will be informed once the complaint is considered. As for our expectations, I can say that we have eliminated all the shortcomings registered by Russia’s Ministry of Justice. We hope the Presidium will respond positively to our appeal. As they say, hope finally dies. I think that our applying to all instances shows that we are right. There have been no rebukes as to making serious political mistakes. The rebukes are only related to paperwork. The Ministry of Justice’s warnings have not been reacted to promptly.
Q: A few months ago, you appealed to the Russian president and prime minister to restore justice with regard to the cancellation of the ARAC registration. Recent court decisions show that these appeals remain ineffective. What do you think of this?
A: Well, we have already appealed to the Presidential Administration, the Federation Council and the State Duma. We also met with deputies. We had meetings at almost all levels, and expressed our concern. During all this period, we haven’t been silent. We have done all documentation work. The Congress held several events and participated in some events during this period. At present, we are preparing for the 100th anniversary of famous Azerbaijani, one of the founders of the Soviet space industry, General Karim Karimov. We will hold a grand event to mark the 100th anniversary of Karim Karimov.
The Unity Day will soon be celebrated in Russia. Our organization is also preparing for this holiday event on November 4. As you see, the All-Russian Azerbaijani Congress continues operating. We haven’t lost enthusiasm. I think that ARAC founded in 2001 by Azerbaijan’s national leader Heydar Aliyev and Russian President Vladimir Putin shouldn’t be liquidated. This organization incorporates about 2.5 million Azerbaijanis in Russia.
Q: What steps will the All-Russian Azerbaijani Congress take if the Presidium of Russia’s Supreme Court rejects the appeal? Is the creation of a new organization on the agenda?
A: Our main task is to preserve the All-Russian Azerbaijani Congress. If the Presidium’s decision is negative, we will be ready for it. The liquidation of an organization which has representatives in more than 70 regions of Russia is not easy. Leaving about 2.5 million Azerbaijanis without an organization is impossible. Therefore, our main task is to preserve the organization. If the cassation appeal is rejected, then we are going to change the name of the organization and create a new one in its place. Everything depends on the decision of the Supreme Court’s Presidium. But we don’t lose hope. We hope for a fair decision to be made.