Mr. Martin Schulz President of the European Parliament Co-Chairmen of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly Members of the European Parliament

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Regarding certain information contained in the urgent draft motion for resolution

 tabled by German MP Alexander Graf Lambsdorff

 on behalf of the ALDE Group 

 A number of politicians in the European Parliament and other European organizations have recently launched biased campaigns and severe attacks against Azerbaijan, one of EU’s Eastern Partnership countries. German MP Alexander Graf Lambsdorff and his close adherents he represents are particularly active in this biased campaign. The draft motion for resolution tabled by Mr. Lambsdorff on behalf of the ALDE Group is a part of this campaign. Thus, design of the motion, reference to unverified facts, ignorance of geopolitical realities in the region, demand of severe and irrelevant sanctions against a sovereign state, and calls to resolve legal issues on political context proves that this document was obviously prepared hurriedly and biasedly and is purposefully directed against Azerbaijan.

The noteworthy point of the motion is that the author evaluates the developments in Azerbaijan only from negative point of view, makes unacceptable generalizations based on his own considerations, and prefers political assessment by ignoring rule of law, one of the most important values of contemporary civil world.

A reasonable question arises: is this approach of the author coincidence? A closer look to the motion confirms that this document is not a coincidence, on the contrary, is purposefully tabled in this format.

For example, the paragraph N of the motion expresses in a very general way that journalists are prosecuted in the country, but the author does not bring any specific fact or reference as evidence.

Another example: the 2nd paragraph in the part of proposed decisions demands the immediate and unconditional release of the people the investigation about whom are still going on. By this demand, the author calls on the violation of the right of these people to fair trial and on direct interference with the investigation, thus, violates relevant provisions of international conventions and other documents on the protection of human rights.

One of the regretful points is that the author does not properly evaluate the legislation on regulating the activity of NGOs and justifies non-transparency and unaccountability of their activities. I would like to note that recent changes and amendments to the law on NGOs (adopted in December of 2013 and entered into force in February of 2014) aim at increasing transparency in the activity of non-governmental organizations. These changes and amendments cover both public and private sector, and are the part of comprehensive measures towards the fight against corruption in all spheres of Azerbaijani society. However, the author did not try to properly evaluate these developments.

In this context, it should be noted that those establishing unregistered NGOs prefer their own interests and are engaged in this or other activity, which is not appropriate to civil society and is accompanied by the violation of law. At the same time, these people consider that their statuses release them from respecting the law. Nevertheless, the activity of uncontrolled and unregistered NGOs is inadmissable not only in Azerbaijan, but also in European countries and USA.

Why does Mr. Lambsdorff, an initiator and trustee of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED), the most important donor organization, on behalf of the European Parliament, instigate his Azerbaijani partners in his motion to non-transparent and illegal activity?

Is it possible to make such calls in European countries, where transparency and accountability is necessary for spending money?

Why does Mr. Lambsdorff consider that non-transparent NGO leaders shouldn’t submit sound and legal evidences about their real estates and other properties in their own countries and abroad, in line with other questions within ongoing investigation and further judicial procedures in Azerbaijan?

Finally, why does Mr. Lambsdorff try to maintain a legal issue related to the competencies of the court in the political context and to solve it in the form of political pressure against Azerbaijan, by calling for the “immediate and unconditional release of people, who are detained, are being investigated or already sentenced and dropping of all charges against them”?

The Azerbaijani side believes that the pretender (local and international NGOs, international organizations, etc.) should raise a claim regarding every prisoner, who is alleged to be a political prisoner or is detained on false charges and the court should decide whether someone is a political prisoner or is detained on false charges.

On the other hand, if Mr. Lambsdorff and his adherents really try to ensure human rights and fundamental freedoms, then why didn’t they ever raise question on the restoration of massively, grossly, and constantly violated rights of hundred of thousands of Azerbaijani people as a consequence of Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territories for over 22 years? Why did they remain indifferent on this issue? Why did Mr. Lambsdorff and his close adherents make discrimination and why didn’t they demand the sanctions against Armenian state, which still keeps Azerbaijani territories under occupation, and has international and legal responsibility for this occupation not only before Azerbaijan, but also the world community?

Thus, the real purpose of Mr. Lambsdorff’s motion is clear: to distract the attention from the solution of priority issues, such as release of the occupied territories, by putting political pressure on Azerbaijan and by preoccupying it with circumstantial problems.

Hopefully, the MPs distinguished with their objectivity and principality predominate in the European Parliament and they do not question the bias of the motion tabled by Mr. Lambsdorff on behalf of ALDE Group and will not support this motion.


Elkhan Suleymanov

Chairman of Azerbaijani Delegation to the Euronest PA