BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
A resolution on human rights in Azerbaijan passed by the European Parliament Thursday is full of legal contradictions, which raise questions about the motives of the MEPs behind it, an Azerbaijani MP said.
The resolution calls for, among other things, the withdrawal of graft charges against Leyla Yunus and her husband despite the fact they are midway through a criminal case involving alleged embezzlement from a string of NGOs with which they were involved.
But the Chairman of the Azerbaijani Delegation to Euronest PA, Elkhan Suleymanov, says that is where contradictions begin, pointing out that the calls for the case to be dropped are flawed given his nation has an independent judiciary.
"If Azerbaijan didn't have rule of law it would never have been admitted to Council of Europe," he said.
"Given that fact, why should its judicial system be treated differently from other democratic countries?"
He added that any person who believes they are unlawfully detained in Azerbaijan has recourse to the European Court of Human Rights.
The resolution, he concluded, is "littered with contradictions" that reflect the motives of those behind it. And he accused the instigator, German MEP Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, of mixing judicial issues with his own political agenda.
"By calling for the dropping of all charges against these detainees, Mr Lambsdorff is clearly using a legal issue to apply political pressure against Azerbaijan.
"These criminal cases came to light because Azerbaijan is committed to fighting graft and corruption in line with international standards."
Suleymanov further pointed out that the registration of NGOs is another international best practice followed by Baku. The activities of uncontrolled and unregistered NGOs are "inadmissable not only in Azerbaijan, but also in European countries and USA."
Suleymanov added that Azerbaijan remains a committed partner of the EU and he urged Lambsdorff and his fellow MEPs to turn their attention to Armenia, which, he says, violates the human rights of up to one million Azerbaijanis displaced by the country's continued occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions.
SOURCE Azerbaijan Monitor