Baku condemns EU's provocative statements, calls for focus on internal European issues
    EU's stance on human rights hypocritical

    ANALYTICS  31 May 2024 - 09:27

    Matanat Nasibova
    Caliber.Az

    We have repeatedly observed that the European Union's stance toward some states, particularly Azerbaijan, resembles the proverb "chercher la petite bête". This sentiment was recently reinforced by the provocative statements on "the state of human rights in Azerbaijan" made by Peter Stano, Slovak diplomat and spokesperson for the European Commission on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, known for his openly pro-Armenian position. “In recent months, Azerbaijan has witnessed an alarming increase in the number of arrests of independent journalists, human rights defenders, and political activists on politically motivated charges,” Stano stated.

    Borrell's aide has a record of making baseless accusations against Azerbaijan. For instance, in January 2024, he asserted that “the European Union sends clear signals to Azerbaijan that any violation of Armenia's territorial integrity by this country is unacceptable and will lead to serious consequences in relations between the EU and Azerbaijan.” Even earlier, in November 2023, he displayed a biased attitude toward Azerbaijan in an interview with an Armenian agency.

    Baku has strongly condemned the Slovak diplomat's provocative statements, made ostensibly on behalf of the European Union. “The statement of the EU representative is far from reality and full of blatant falsifications. The issue of persons detained in connection with a number of criminal investigations, such as illegal financing of certain types of activities, illegal financial transactions, etc., is resolved within the requirements of the penal system. Calls to Azerbaijan to release the accused instead of waiting for the results of criminal cases and investigations, as well as court decisions, directly contradict legal procedures,” the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry noted, pointing out that the EU's unjustified demands to pardon certain persons based on the political preferences of some European countries and politicians call into question Europe's true commitment to the rule of law.

    Baku has once again made it clear that Azerbaijan does not need advice or instructions from outside and calls on certain EU institutions to focus on gross human rights violations within the European Union itself. The legitimacy of Baku's position is confirmed by numerous examples of human rights violations in “democratic and free” Europe.

    One glaring example is the situation in France. In 2018, the UN Committee for the Protection of Human Rights accused France of human rights violations, particularly noting that the ban on the niqab (a Muslim headdress that completely covers a woman's face) is a violation of human rights and freedom of religion. The law, which came into force in France on October 11, 2010, prohibits wearing covered clothing in public for security reasons. However, the UN found Paris' claims unconvincing, stating that the ban infringes on Muslims' religious beliefs and cuts them off from society.

    Additionally, an independent study of EU courts, cited by The Guardian, revealed that justice in European countries is often ineffective, indicating serious human rights problems within the EU itself. Despite these issues, Europe prefers to interfere in the internal affairs of countries like Azerbaijan and Georgia, often with the ultimate goal of destabilizing these nations through the creation of a grant network.

    While the EU managed to influence the situation in Armenia via a grant network, it has failed to do so in Azerbaijan and Georgia. The West's attempts to destabilize these countries have not ceased. Recently, unprecedented pressure has been exerted on Georgia due to the adoption of the law “on foreign agents,” which the Council of Europe harshly criticized. The United States also announced its readiness to reconsider relations with official Tbilisi.

    In response to the West's attempts to establish a grant network in Azerbaijan, Baku has implemented measures since 2014 to prevent illegal financing of various media and NGOs. Legislative actions were taken to limit the inflow of illegal money intended to destabilize the internal political situation. Today, Azerbaijan has erected a robust barrier against these efforts. Hence, Europe and other external powers must accept that Azerbaijan will not tolerate interference in its internal affairs, affirming its stance as a truly independent and sovereign state.

    Caliber.Az

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