Azerbaijani Expert Considers Strasser’s Report On Political Prisoner


21:43, 24 December, 2012

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 24, ARMENPRESS: Report of the PACE rapporteur on
political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Christoph Strasser, to be submitted
to PACE January session, fully reflects the reality. Persons included
in his list, fully meet the definition of “political prisoner”,
said the Director of Media Rights Institute (MRI), Rashid Hajili,
commenting on the report.

According to him, they only have to make technical changes to the lists
of political prisoners, by excluding the names of the released, and
adding new names, reports Armenpress referring to “Turan” news agency.

Hajili stressed that Strasser made his report based on information
from many local and international human rights organizations.

Commenting on the criticism of the report Strasser by the Azerbaijani
authorities, and that he made the list not having been in place, Hajili
said that the responsibility for this bear the authorities. He reminded
that in 2009, the Azerbaijani authorities do not give Strasser visa to
fulfill his mission. Later official Baku agreed to accept Strasser only
for discussions on the criteria for the term “political prisoner.” At
the same time, they objected the collection of the facts relating to
specific individuals.

Hajili expressed surprise at the harsh criticism of the report
Strasser and his accusation of bias by the head of the Azerbaijani
delegation. Better the Azeri side brought arguments on specific facts.

Blanket criticism by Strasser and his accusation of bias is not
justified, and does not meet the parliamentary ethics. All it means
unwillingness by authorities to have a dialogue, said Hajili.

After the report of the Assembly, it is no longer be the position of
Strasser, and will reflect the will of the PACE. Further ignoring the
position of international organizations, will do damage to the image
of the government in an election year. Therefore, the authorities
would have to release a significant number of persons from the list
of Strasser, said Hajili.

There are 85 people in the list of Strasser, and 27 of them have
already been released. According to the Institute of Peace and
Democracy in Azerbaijan, there are more than 60 political prisoners.

The monitoring group of human rights organizations of Azerbaijan
mentioned 10 political prisoners, and authorities say that there are
not political prisoners in Azerbaijan.

From: Baghdasarian