Debates of the reports on Azerbaijan in PACE on January 23 were an opportunity for Swedish MP Ms Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin to tell about what once happened to her in Baku.
“When I was visiting Baku, police officers approached me as I was being photographed near the hotel, asked why I was being photographed and tried to take my camera from me. They left me alone only when I showed my diplomatic passport. But they could have arrested me for being photographed. This is the picture of the situation in that country,” a Panorama.am reporter quoted her as saying.
So, the Swedish MP said, the report on Azerbaijan says nothing strange: journalists and photographers are arrested, freedom of speech is unprotected.
“This country’s authorities lack the political will to fulfill their commitments towards the Council of Europe, commitments they should have fulfilled as soon as they joined the Council of Europe,” said Ms Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin.
Another MP, Lukas Reimann (Switzerland), criticized Ilham Aliyev’s government. According to him, during the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Azerbaijani authorities bought large areas for advertisement, which read: “Azerbaijan is a country of future.”
According to the Swiss MP, this advertisement is strange in the context of the reports on Azerbaijan.
“While it would be accepted as positive if the authorities of this country stopped political persecutions. Azerbaijan should have solved this issue and only then called itself a country of future,” Mr Reimann concluded.