Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev spoke about the possible withdrawal of the country from the Council of Europe. Aliyev in particular noted that recently the official representatives of the Council of Europe "have organized new attacks on Azerbaijan" and threatened the country with sanctions, RIA.ru reports.
"First, they have to provide the implementation of more than ten thousand of decisions taken by the European Court of Human Rights in connection with the participating countries. Only after that they can talk about the withdrawal of Azerbaijan from the organization or sanctions," Aliyev stressed. He is sure that if Azerbaijan leaves the Council of Europe, no one will attach importance to this, as nothing will change in the life of Azerbaijanis. According to Aliyev, Azerbaijan joined the Council of Europe for the sake of assistance in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, "but the Council of Europe has not succeeded on this issue." In addition, Aliyev is convinced that "lobby groups in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe are constantly sponsoring Armenia," but Azerbaijan is constantly being attacked. It should be noted that not only Aliyev thinks that Armenia has sponsors in the Council of Europe. Milli Mejlis deputy Ayten Mustafazadeh is also sure that in Europe there are a lot of patrons of Armenians who are inadequate towards Azerbaijan.
Meanwhile, the reason for such discussions in Azerbaijan was the recent statement of Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland, who said that Azerbaijan can be excluded from the organization. The reason is Baku's refusal to release political prisoners to freedom despite the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. In particular, it concerns the case of Ilgar Mammadov, a civil activist, leader of the "Republican Alternative" movement, who has been imprisoned for criticizing the authorities. Jagland called for the inclusion of Article 46.4 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which could ultimately lead to the withdrawal of Azerbaijan from the Council of Europe, Eadaily reports. "It's time for Azerbaijan to think about its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe and about whether they want to fulfill these commitments", - Jagland said.
In addition, the Organization's Secretary General demanded that an investigation should be launched in connection with the report of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on the illegal financial operations of the Azerbaijani authorities with the aim of bribing European politicians, officials, journalists and public figures.
It shoudl be recalled that in a large-scale investigation it was noted that the leadership of Azerbaijan gave generous bribes to prominent figures of the European Union, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, UNESCO, as well as journalists and politicians. Official Baku refuted the data presentedin the investigation, saying that behind the "lying accusations", ostensibly, are standing George Soros and the "Armenian lobby."
Nevertheless, this is not the first time that the Council of Europe accuses Azerbaijan of violating human rights. Earlier the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Neil Muiznieks, also criticized the human rights situation in Azerbaijan. He said that there was a time when all his colleagues were in prison in this country on false charges. Muiznieks noted that he had unsuccessfully tried to discuss human rights violations with the Azerbaijani authorities, Panorama.am reports. In addition, despite the undeniable evidence and documents, some EU countries have not shown political will in the matter of bringing Azerbaijan to justice.
Аfter all this, it remains only to add one thing - when Azerbaijan joined the Council of Europe in 2001, the Azerbaijanis were happy, thinking that European standards would "work" in the country. Nevertheless, despite the fact that Azerbaijan is a member of such organizations as the Human Rights Council and the Council of Europe, a number of independent organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, have repeatedly criticized the Azerbaijani government for human rights violations. As we see, for disrespect of human rights Azerbaijan is already condemned not only by independent organizations, but also by the Council of Europe.