US analysts and activists who are watching the situation in Azerbaijan, urged the administration of the US President to impose sanctions against the government of Azerbaijan on the background of flagrant violations of human rights in the country.
According to the Azerbaijani news agency “Turan”, these calls were made on Friday at the debate in Washington organized by the community of “American Azerbaijanis” (“AZAD”).
As noted in the article, the debates have been timed with the death of Heydar Aliyev, on December 12. Richard Kozlarich, former US ambassador to Baku, said that nothing has changed to better in the relations between the US and Azerbaijan after the power passed to his son, Ilham Aliyev. On the contrary, after many years of support for civil society in the country, the US NGOs are regarded in Baku as a threat.
As evidence, he cited the article of the head of the presidential administration of Azerbaijan Ramiz Mehdiyev. ” Mehdiyev accuses us of creating a “fifth column” in Azerbaijan, which wants to overthrow the power, he calls the NGOs that work with the United States,” traitors of Azerbaijan”, Kozlarich noted.
He further drew the attention to the direct attacks of the government officials of Azerbaijan towards the President Obama. In response, he suggested the official Washington to warn the US citizens that, visiting Azerbaijan, they may be subject to surveillance, covert shooting and all sorts of troubles can happen to them.
“If the diplomatic pressure on Aliyev’s government does not work, then it’s time to consider the sanctions, which will show the government that the continuing human rights violations will have consequences,” stated Kozlarich.
According to “Turan”, in his speech, David Kramer, the former president of the “Freedom House”, and at present the director of the McCain Institute, noted that Azerbaijan violates not only the principles of West but the universal principles as a hole, adding that it is difficult to be in good relations with a regime that is becoming increasingly corrupt and increasingly authoritarian.
“Currently there are more than 100 political prisoners in the country of, twice more than in Russia and Belarus, against which we have imposed sanctions. Therefore, the pressure for their release, is necessary,” he said.
As stated in the article, Kramer also called on all the European political leaders to boycott the first European Games in Baku, in 2015. “Deprivation of Aliyev from standing next to the central stadium of the political leaders of the West will be a serious blow to his image,” said Kramer.
The agency writes that according to the speakers, the head of “AZAD” Elmar Shakhtakhtinski and his deputy Gorkhmaz Askerov, the time for sanctions had come long before.