German embassy in Azerbaijan responds to Eynulla Fatullayev’s accusations

German embassy in Azerbaijan responds to Eynulla Fatullayev’s accusations
# 01 February 2013 13:55 (UTC +04:00)

Spokesperson for the German embassy Aytekin Maharramova told APA that the ambassador has sent a letter of response. The letter says the Amnesty International does not receive institutional support from the German Federal government: “At no time did the Ministry of Foreign Affairs influence Amnesty International, the Black Sea Trust or the Open Society Institute to terminate their cooperation with you or instigated invited speakers to not appear at the conference. Neither has the German Embassy in Baku exerted any influence on participants, speakers and alleged sponsors of your conference. When it was clear that your claim of sponsorship by the Black Sea Trust was a lie, this information was, of course, provided to anybody inquiring about the conference.”

The ambassador noted in his letter that when the Embassy learnt that Germany was the focus of the conference they only asked for additional information beforehand like the concept and the list of speakers.

“As we cooperated trustfully in the past (for example our Foreign Ministry supported your project for improving prison conditions in Azerbaijan) I do think that such request was legitimate. When you informed us about your conference hypothesis that Germany/Europe were losing the right to criticize human rights violations in Azerbaijan, as they themselves had problems, we simply took note. German media cover problems in Germany on a daily basis and – in difference from state controlled Azerbaijani media – in a manner openly critical of the government. We did, however, notice that you adopted the custom of minimizing problems here by exaggerating them elsewhere.”

The ambassador said that the German federal government is clearly committed to the freedom of opinion and truly appreciates the work of serious human rights organisations like Amnesty International, Freedom House or Human Rights Watch even when they criticize it.

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