Gunter Nooke: There is Tyranny In Azerbaijan

BAKU. July 16, 2009: The Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid of Germany Gunter Nooke called the arrest of two young bloggers, Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizadeh a political provocation. “It is an attempt of forcing out activists of human rights defender organizations from the political landscape of the country,” Nooke said in his interview to Deutsche Welle.

Nooke considers that the coincidence of the arrest of the activists with his visit was just an accident. However he did not rule out that “by this Azerbaijan’s authorities tried to check the reaction of the West to such events”. He believes that the energy interests must not cause the EU to turn a blind eye on the situation with human rights in Azerbaijan. “It is necessary to talk openly with the authorities of countries with dictatorship. I do not think that it will cause damage to our economic relations. We are mutually dependent: Azerbaijan wants to get money from us, and we want energy resources from Azerbaijan,” Nooke said.

Asked if it was right to sign transactions like Nabucco with such non-democratic countries as Azerbaijan, he said: “Private companies of the EU are ready to invest money in the project, realizing the existence of dictatorship and authoritarian regime in the country. Nobody can prohibit business figures to do it. The problem is that in large projects like Nabucco European companies want to get state guarantees from possible risks. It will not be easy to do it, because Azerbaijan is not a lawful country and tyranny exists there,” Nooke said.

He believes that Azerbaijan “develops more towards dictatorship, than towards democracy”. “The authorities use their power to serve that purpose. They suppress the opposition and prevent their access to mass media. Election campaigns in Azerbaijan are not fair. The court power is independent only on paper. Judges get orders how to act from the top. The recent arrest of two human right defenders confirms it,” the ombudsman said (Turan).

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