ArmInfo.The Council of Europe should show an equally fair approach to the discussion of the events taking place in the member countries of the Organization.
Former PACE member and special rapporteur on the issue of the political prisoners in Azerbaijan, Christopher Strasser, told ArmInfo, answering the question of why the critical problems regarding Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh remain in the shadows and are not given due publicity on the PACE platform and in the Council of Europe.
It should be noted that during the winter session of the PACE in Strasbourg, an unscheduled meeting was held on the topic " The follow-up to the issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan ", ahead of the 10th anniversary of the rejection of Strasser's report. At that time, Christopher Strasser was subjected to fierce attacks from Azerbaijani and European parliamentarians who disputed the presence of political prisoners in Azerbaijan, as a result of which his report was rejected. This attracted the attention of the European Stability Initiative (ESI) think tank, which later published a revealing report on Azerbaijan's policy of "caviar diplomacy" and the bribery of a number of European parliamentarians and officials by the Aliyev regime.
During the meeting in Strasbourg, ESI's Director Gerald Knaus cited a number of statements and critical remarks by MEPs during the hearing of the Strasser report 10 years ago, which were distinguished by their cynicism and denied the importance of the problem of political prisoners in Azerbaijan.
In a conversation with ArmInfo, Strasser agreed that the Council of Europe and PACE are demonstrating a selective approach, as a result of which Azerbaijan does not bear any responsibility for its actions regarding Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. There is no proper punishment in the form of, for example, exclusion from the organization, as happened in the case of Russia.
"I think it is important to investigate the reasons why the Council of Europe, PACE do not address the issue of Armenian prisoners of war in Azerbaijan. The only way to achieve, is to find like-minded persons and allies in PACE. I do not see other possibilities except to create strong contacts," Strasser noted.