Western Azerbaijan Community sends protest letter to Dunja Mijatovic

The Council of Europe released a report on the visit by Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic to Armenia and Azerbaijan on October 16-23, 2023. The report contains significant flaws, News.Az reports.

Dr. Aziz Alakbarli, the Chairman of the Board of the Western Azerbaijan Community, sent a letter of protest to Dunja Mijatovic regarding the report.

The letter reads: “Firstly, allow us to express our sincere appreciation for your visit to Azerbaijan and the genuine compassion you showed during your meeting with Azerbaijani refugees on October 23, 2023. Your words of encouragement, particularly your advice to "never give up," left a profound impact on our community.

However, it is with deep regret and disappointment that weaddress the deliberate omission of our case in your recent report on your visit to the region in October 2023. The report covers the issue of exclusively one ethnic group and that in a distorted manner. The lack of reference to the hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis forcibly displaced from Armenia, their plight, their ongoing struggle, and the important meeting you had with them is not only disheartening but also contradicts the principles of impartiality and justice. This omission is not just an oversight; it is a textbook example of bias, ethnic, and religious discrimination.

It's pertinent to remind you that we had previously expressed our concerns in a letter on 27 October 2023 to you following the Council of Europe's press release of 26 October 2023, which similarly omitted reference to our plight, thereby underscoring a continual pattern of disregard.

Your report only generically calls upon Armenia to respect the right to return without specifying whose right. While we value this general call for the right to return, the ambiguity of its context diminishes its value and impact.

The stark contrast between the encouraging and supportive tone you displayed during your meeting with Azerbaijani refugees and the subsequent handling of our case in your report is disappointing and alarming. It suggests that the office of the Commissioner, which should stand as a bastion of human rights and justice, is actually a mere rubber-stamp, swayed by anti-Azerbaijani circles rightfully called "Armenia+".

Suppressing the plight of ethnic Azerbaijanis does not only fail those directly affected but also undermines the credibility and mission of the Council of Europe. It is a disservice to the principles of fairness and impartiality that should guide your esteemed office.

In conclusion, although you have advised us to "never give up," it seems that, in this instance, you have done just that by compromising your own principles. Despite this, we shall never give up our fight for justice and the right to return to our homeland.

With that resolve, we urge you to rise to your responsibilities and revise the report to give voice to our cause, which the well-known notorious circles have long been trying to silence.”



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