Azerbaijani press: Analyst says Yerevan responsible for Armenian saboteur’s death

By Abdul Kerimkhanov

Analyst of The Baku Network think tank Elkhan Alаsgаrov has said that Yerevan bears the responsibility for the death of Armenian saboteur Manvel Saribekyan about whom the European Court of Human Rights recently passed a ruling.

The saboteur in question – Armenian citizen Manvel Saribekyan – was detained on 11 September 2010, with several espionage equipment, while a group of Armenian saboteurs were prevented on the north-west direction of the line of contact of the armed forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Saribekyan committed suicide a month later while in prison.

"It is Yerevan that should be blamed for his tragic death, rather than only Baku. Obviously, the death of Saribekyan, as well as common political goals behind the accusations made against Baku concerning the violation of the international law, do not concern the Armenian authorities," Elkhan Alаsgаrov said.

Commenting on the Armenian Foreign Ministry’s statement about Saribekyan, Alasgarov noted that Yerevan seeks to mislead the international community.

"The main thesis of the [Armenian MFA’s] document is that, allegedly, the threat is upon life of every Armenian who falls under the control of the Azerbaijani authorities, regardless of his/her status. Thus, the Armenian Foreign Ministry is disseminating a new myth that upon the decision concerning Saribekyan’s case, the ECHR ‘confirmed the impossibility of Karabakh Armenians living in Azerbaijan as this poses a threat to their lives,’" Alasgarov noted.

"While recognizing the jurisdiction and legitimacy of the ECHR and rejoicing at the decision regarding Saribekyan’s case, Yerevan should recognize not only other decisions of the European Court, but also four UN resolutions and numerous resolutions of international organizations," he stressed.

Furthermore, Alasgarov believes no positive changes occurred in the ideology of the Armenians with Pashinyan’s coming to power.

"The ruling by the ECHR quite resembles primitive statement of criminal Robert Kocharyan, who is in the Yerevan prison, about the “genetic incompatibility of Azerbaijanis and Armenians” and the slogan by fascist Garegin Nzhdeh that ‘there shouldn’t be a day without fighting the Turk’," the analyst said.

Instead of preparing the Armenian people for reconciliation, he noted, Pashinyan’s team uses rhetoric that cuts off all roads leading to peace.

"The Armenian side still hasn’t learned that false theories have sad consequences," Alasgarov stressed.

Alasgarov pointed out that Yerevan must recognize the rulings by the ECHR on numerous violations of human rights in the occupied Azerbaijani territories.

"Without recognition of the rights, first of all, of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani IDPs violated by the invaders in Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts, as well as compensation for the damage caused to them, it is better for the Armenian Foreign Ministry to keep silent about the Saribekyan case," Alasgarov said.

He called the previous decision of the European Court of Human Rights, issued regarding the case of Chiragov and Others v. Armenia, as one of the most important decisions in connection with the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that have been accepted till now.

Alasgarov said that the peculiarity of the decision is that it is the first judicial document in connection with the Karabakh conflict, in which Armenia is recognized as the culprit of the crimes committed.

"The European Court of Human Rights-ECHR, the most authoritative court of the world, adopted a decision on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, in which it confirmed the fact of occupation of Azerbaijani territories and the fact that Armenia is an occupying country. The European Court has entrusted all responsibility for the violation of human rights in the occupied territories upon Armenia, which is to restore human rights, in the first place, of the hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis from Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions," Alasgarov stated.

He considers that ECHR’s decision puts before Yerevan the obligation to unconditionally withdraw the Armenian forces from the conflict zone.

"In addition, Armenia must pay compensation in the “Chiragov and Others v. Armenia” case. At the same time, this payment will set a precedent, which will entail claims from 800,000 internally displaced persons regarding the payment of compensation to them by Armenia," he said.

Alasgarov further recalled the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg dated 17 December 2013, in the case of “Perincek v. Switzerland”.

"The European Court decided that, unlike the Holocaust fact proven in the legal field, the narrative about the so-called "Armenian genocide" is not a historical fact, but a fiction of one of the parties, and by no means the only one," Alasgarov told.

Speaking about opinion of international academic circles on the so-called "Armenian genocide", he said that there is no consensus, it is unlikely to be reached, and any criminal prosecution for expressing an opinion is a violation of the articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.

"Over the course of many years of practice of the ECHR, not a single case of non-enforcement of its decisions by member states of the Council of Europe has been recorded. Otherwise, according to the Statute of the Council of Europe, this can lead to suspension of a state’s membership and, in the end, in accordance with the decision of the Committee of Ministers, to expulsion from the Organization," Alasgarov added.

He noted that Armenia’s unwillingness to comply with the judgments of the ECHR regarding the “Perincek v. Switzerland” case, to stop the unilateral interpretation of the so-called "Armenian genocide", as well as restoring the rights of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani IDPs, the case “Chiragov and Others v. Armenia”, is a clear evidence of Yerevan’s rejection of international law.

Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94 

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