Azerbaijan: An Illusion (11 of 12)

11 more in collection THE ILLUSION OF AZERBAIJAN

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With Azerbaijan winning a temporary seat in the UN Security Council last year and becoming a member of PACE (Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly).
It would be easy to think that leaders in the west would criticise and put pressure on the president Ilham Aliyev to implement democratic reform and release political prisoners. This is however not the case.
In a recent article featured in the Danish national daily newspaper Politiken a report was mentioned which documents that some PACE members who are perceived by the Azeri Government to be the country’s “friends” receive 0,4-0,6 grams of caviar at an estimated value per kilograms of almost 1700 dollars. Trips and conferences in the land of fire, as Azerbaijan is called, are seen as well with lavish gifts to follow.

With this kind of behaviour it has managed to stop it’s critics. One of PACE’s jobs are to overview that new members in the east uphold the promise they made when they joined, to uphold human rights and release political prisoners.
The writers of the report say itself that the government in Baku has managed to avoid its obligations towards the European Council.
According to Amnesty international the lack of criticism is to be found in Azerbaijan being a very strategic country. Being next door to Iran and a stop over for equipment and personnel to Afghanistan and of course the vast resources of oil and natural gas.

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