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 Friday, May 22 2020 17:31
Ani Mshetsyan

Office of Human Rights Defender of RA accuses Azerbaijani  Commissioner of distorting words of Tatoyan

Office of Human Rights Defender of RA accuses Azerbaijani  Commissioner of distorting words of Tatoyan

ArmInfo.The Armenia's Human Rights Defender regrets that the Azerbaijani Commissioner makes openly political statements. This is stated in a statement by the Office of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia, in response to a statement by the Commissioner for Human Rights of Azerbaijan Sabina Aliyeva.

In particular, the statement of the Office of the Human Rights  Defender of Armenia states: <The Human Rights Defender of Armenia,  when presenting the 2019 Annual Report to the National Assembly of  Armenia, stressed that human rights are universal categories and that  rights of all persons, including children, women, people with  disabilities living in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), should be  protected, regardless of the political status of the territory or  other political factors, whether it is a conflict or postconflict  area. This is a well-known concept driven by a status neutral  principle within International Human Rights Standards.

Additionally, in response to the question from a member of the  Armenian Parliament regarding whether the Human Rights Defender of  Armenia anticipates cooperation with his Azerbaijani counterpart on  human rights issues, Mr. Arman Tatoyan noted that he has not yet met  the new Ombudsperson of the neighboring country, but he is ready to  meet his counterpart, for example, within international meetings,  should such an opportunity present. Thus, the Human Rights Defender  of the Republic of Armenia expressed his readiness for the meeting.  Moreover, the Defender emphasized that he believes it would be  appropriate if the Human Rights Defender or civil society of Artsakh  participate in human rights related international discussions or  discussions on rights of Armenians living in Artsakh.  Immediately  after parliamentary discussions, the Commissioner for Human Rights of  Azerbaijan (Ombudsperson) Sabina Aliyeva made an official statement,  accompanied by inaccurate, political comments clearly atypical of a  Head of a Human Rights Institution, quoting the official positions of  her country's political authorities, even considering the issue from  the perspective of the OSCE Minsk Group's activities dealing with the  political solution of the conflict, also using expressions that  generate aggression and hatred. Moreover, the statements of the  Azerbaijani Commissioner for Human Rights were accompanied by public  insults addressed to the Armenian Human Rights Defender, noting that  the Armenian Human Rights Defender "turned legal issues into objects  of political manipulation and organized a cheap show by primitive  methods."

Besides, the Azerbaijani Ombudsperson put forward a political  precondition for meeting with the Armenian Human Rights Defender,  stating that "the negotiations with the Human Rights Ombudsman of  Armenia will be possible only after the elimination of occupation."  The Armenian Human Rights Defender has to respond to these political  and insulting statements of the Azerbaijani Ombudsperson, to prevent  distortion of statements and position, as well as presentation of  false information to international partners.

The Armenian Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan regrets that his  Azerbaijani counterpart makes political statements. Nonetheless, we  refrain from commenting on the statements, given that it is not  appropriate for a human rights institution to do so. We regret that  the Commissioner for Human Rights of Azerbaijan sets a political  precondition for the cooperation between the two institutions,  obviously following the political framework of the Azerbaijani  authorities.  The Human Rights Defender of Armenia was hoping that  the new Ombudsperson of Azerbaijan could adopt new approaches for  cooperation that could be in accordance with international human  rights principles and standards; however, by presenting an approach  identical to the official political propaganda shows that nothing has  changed in this regard. 

Political neutrality of ombudspersons and national human rights  institutions is one of the basic principles of their apolitical  activity. This cooperation is to ensure the effective protection of  human rights. Hence, there should be no political preconditions for  cooperation between ombudsperson institutions in establishing and  guaranteeing an agenda for human rights. 

Human rights protection is of the universal nature. Hence, the  guarantee and protection of the human rights of people living in  Artsakh should not depend on the disaccord related to the political  status of Artsakh.  Women, children, persons with disabilities, who  live in Artsakh cannot be deprived of legal protection; that would  contradict the international legal principles. Participation of the  Human Rights Defender of Artsakh and the civil society in  international human rights discussions and meetings has an  irreplaceable role because political factors should have no impact on  human rights>.  

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