Ali Hasanov: US State Department's attitude to situation in Azerbaijan is biased as always

Ali Hasanov: US State Department
# 23 April 2018 13:11 (UTC +04:00)

The US State Department's attitude to the events taking place in the socio-political, socio-economic and cultural life of Azerbaijan, as always, is biased, Azerbaijani President’s Assistant for Public and Political Affairs Ali Hasanov told APA on April 23.

Hasanov made the remarks commenting on the allegations against Azerbaijan, reflected in the State Department's annual report on the human rights situation in the world in 2017.

He noted that the methodology of the report’s preparation on each issue is based on the principle of ascertainment of one, in some cases, of several facts, their correspondence to interests of certain political circles, biased reflection, processing of the corresponding results and generalization throughout the sphere, Hasanov noted.

“Such attitude, as well as absence of sources, as a principle, “reference” to some “experts”, “activists”, “representatives of NGOs” and unknown “sources” cast serious doubt on the objectivity and transparency of the report,” Hasanov said.

The presidential assistant pointed out that all the elections held in Azerbaijan, including the 2013 presidential election, correspondent international standards and the country’s legislation, were democratic, fair, transparent and reflected the people’s will.

This fact was confirmed in the conclusions and reports of numerous foreign and international observers, he added.

“Azerbaijan is a democratic state, and in accordance with the constitutional norms, independent activity of executive and judicial branches is ensured in the country. Therefore, we do not accept biased statements that discredit the image of the authorities and certain state bodies on the basis of some dubious “facts” and regard them as subjective views without serious grounds,” the president’s assistant said.

Hasanov emphasized that all democratic norms, including freedom of speech and information, freedom of assembly and pluralism of opinions are ensured in Azerbaijan.

“In Azerbaijan hundreds of media outlets, a large number of journalists operate absolutely freely. The number of users of social networks is approaching 3 million, while 80 percent of the country’s population uses the Internet.

He said that over 3,000 NGOs operate in Azerbaijan, which contribute to development of all spheres of the society through their initiatives and practical steps.

"Therefore, the allegations in the report on "limiting" the activities of the civil society institutions cause only regret."

"Along with the fact that the April 11 presidential election in Azerbaijan confirmed the satisfactory level of the electoral process culture in Azerbaijan's socio-political life, it also clearly demonstrated the level of parties' participation in the political processes," he said.

Hasanov emphasized that society in Azerbaijan, as in Europe and the US, rejects marginal political groups that are increasingly losing the opportunity to realize their ambitions.

"This does not mean shortcomings in Azerbaijan's political system; on the contrary, this is an important advantage providing security, stability, tolerance in the life of society. Unfortunately, these issues were reflected in a biased form in the State Department's report and undesirable conclusions were made. As for "political prisoners", "pressure", "arrests" and other similar allegations in the report, we believe there are more such facts in the Western countries. If the State Department comments on these facts by the same methodology, then we can imagine what the results will be," said Hasanov.