British Members of Parliament sign a petition against Azerbaijan

A group of British Members of Parliament (MP) have signed a petition addressed to Azerbaijani government. The content of the petition was prepared by the young activists of Azerbaijani community in Britain.

In the petition, it is said that we are deeply worried about dramatically worsening situation regarding human rights in Azerbaijan. We vigorously condemn the attack on Azerbaijani youth taken place on 10th of July of this year and their imprisonment. We demand to release those youth, to cease pursuing activists of free media and opposition, as well as to restore BBC broadcasting in local frequency which was stopped by Aliyev administration at the beginning of this year.

It should be mentioned that in the document prepared during Ilham Aliyev’s visit to London, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Britain is asked to influence Azerbaijani government regarding these issues.

The government and media differently justify detention of Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade. Although polis claims that they are arrested because of hooliganism, both foreign and local media write that the youth are arrested due to their political activity and especially because of the video clip which ridicules a state official.

British MP Paul Flynn who has signed the petition answered to the question of our editor Yohannes Dellin regarding extend to which this kind of political criticism is normal in Britain.

It is totally normal. Because media is free in our country. If people want, they may deride politically anybody. As to violation of human rights in Azerbaijan, the thing that worries us is that these two youth – Hajizade and Milli – were arrested in a way that Ganimat Zahid was previously arrested. He was accused of hooliganism as well and imprisoned to four years. I suppose that they got involved in fight by secret services. The aim was to belt them up.

You have signed this petition on the day of Ilham Aliyev’s arrival. Did he have any idea of this document?

I think if there wasn’t this petition, we would not be informed about this arrival as well. It was like a secret visit. Very little information was spread around on this visit. So, now after his departure we are continuing to sign the petition; and there are already 20 signatures. There is another issue regarding human rights in Azerbaijan. We know that protestors were tortured after the elections there and BBC radio is terminated in local frequency. Azerbaijan is transforming into a country where human right are being violated fatally.

You have appealed the Minister of Foreign Affair to raise this issue in the dialogue with Azerbaijani government. Is there any response to your initiative?

I have written to the minister about this issue; and I hope there will be a response. I will discuss it with him face to face as well. We have enough interests in the Caucasus; and we have to discuss issues on human rights along with business matters.

But there is the fact that both Azerbaijani government and Ilham Aliyev complain about double standards of Europe. They says that, for instance, in which country else there is permission for foreign broadcast.

It is not just a small incident. I see the reverse side of this issue. For example, if compare Azerbaijan with Ukraine, we will see there were protests in Ukraine as well; there was Orange revolution. And the protestors were not cruelly beaten there after the elections.

To see original article in azeri click here

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