These clear and informative facts and figures reveal the essence of slander and rumors spread by anti-Azerbaijani forces regarding the “Strässer Report".
In January 2013, no less than 125 members (against 79) voted down the Strässer report, for very different reasons:
- The nominative list of so-called “political” prisoners, attached to the Strässer report and not open for amending, was based on fantasy (several “prisoners” were free, or already died, or never even existed), his list was not factually checked, thus lacked any credibility.
- The Strässer report was contradictory with the then Monitoring report which was simultaneously discussed and (separately) voted on, many MPs made a choice.
- Many MPs spoke against the practice to draft separate reports on issues, which are already specifically discussed and included in detail in Monitoring reports.
- NGOs and MPs, such as Mr. Omtzigt, publicly advocating the Strässer report, were blindly attacking Azerbaijani authorities, without any nuance, and openly lobbying for Armenia, thus showing towards all a total lack of impartiality. This was eventually not helpful to Strässer, on the contrary.
Recently launched false corruption allegations claim repeatedly that the then-EPP leader Mr. Volonté “instructed the EPP-group to vote against the Strässer report”. But minutes from all political group meetings can still be consulted, and the following voting instructions on the Strässer report were given by all group leaders in ALL their respective political groups:
- In EPP: FREE vote!!
- In SOC: mandatory to vote in favor of Mr. Strässer, even at risk of disciplinary sanctions by the group!
- In EC: free vote, rather against (almost all Azerbaijani MPs are EC)
- In ALDE: free vote
- In UEL: free vote
In conclusion, the only political group who openly forced their members in their voting behavior was the Socialist group. This extreme lobbying practice in the Socialist group was, however, never questioned at any time or place. It was an apparently accepted practice against Azerbaijan within PACE.
From the perspective of the above-mentioned voting instructions, final voting results on the Strässer report are even more interesting, in fact a real eye-opener:
1. EPP: only 38 on 66 voted against Strässer report = thus only 57 %
2. SOC: only 46 socialists on 73 voted yes to the report = more than 1/3 of socialists did NOT support their German SOC colleague!
3. EC: only 2 MPs (including one Armenian) supported Strässer report
4. ALDE: fifty-fifty result, 11 supported, 12 against
5. UEL: only 1 of 13 voted in favor of the Strässer report, so 12 other UEL members, including the UEL-leader, were corrupted and should be blacklisted?
After Strässer’s defeat, the position of Tiny Kox, Chairman of Unified European Left, one of leaders of smear campaign against Azerbaijan for justifying this defeat, is unclear. While 95% of Kox’s political group voted against Strässer report, his attack against Azerbaijan now raises a question.
The report “The Armenian Connection - How a secret caucus of MPs and NGOs since 2012 created a network in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to hide violations of international law?” published by the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center clarified this question. The report reveals the real essence of active members of “Armenian connection”.
In conclusion, it is totally ridiculous to try to justify the defeat of the Strässer report simply by accusing EPP or its then leadership.
Thus, who is to blame?
A few months later the report on “Escalation of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied territories of Azerbaijan” was also voted down in PACE, but by a very small margin of only 4 votes, thus clearly dividing the Assembly.
This report was only recalling decisions by United Nations Security Council and previous PACE resolutions, not adding any new “demands”. But just the title “Nagorno Karabakh and other occupied territories of Azerbaijan”, even when approved by the PACE Bureau, and the fact that this illegal occupation by Armenia was again on the PACE agenda, mobilized all Armenians and pro-Armenian forces within and beyond PACE.
All MPs present at that session will for sure remember the extremely excessive lobbying by all Armenians and pro-Armenian forces, all Armenian diplomats based in Europe, Soros-funded NGOs, and by Mr. Omtzigt, Mr. Schwabe and his PACE-team of “untouchables”, all were mobilized and openly mobilizing others to vote down that PACE report.
Some MPs personally testified to me that they were even physically threatened by Armenians. Armenian public outrage was absolutely frightening.
Very strangely, this extremely aggressive Armenian lobbying was not hidden at all, it took place very openly across all PACE premises, without any shame or restraint, and surprisingly it was never questioned, at no level. Why?
Why is someone suggesting a nuance in a debate on Azerbaijan a criminal?
Why is someone fiercely lobbying for Armenia an untouchable crusader?
Since the recent report by ESISC, we know the answer: the whole Armenian network, protected by “untouchable” MPs and NGOs, has surfaced.
ESISC report notes that members of Armenian connection serve to the appointment of Strasser as Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe in 2017 in order to realize hostile strategy against Azerbaijan.
Very unfortunately, PACE is now drowning in the dark atmosphere created by these few so-called “untouchable” MPs, who are monopolizing and preaching some kind of moral superiority, imposing their personal views on all of us, threatening all those who do not want to be openly blacklisted or politically destroyed.
Elkhan Suleymanov, Azerbaijani MP, member of the Azerbaijani Delegation to PACE