Aslan Ismayilov addressed the foreign diplomatic corps following the European Parliament resolution
Following the resolution of the European Parliament adopted today, an Azerbaijani lawyer and the author of the book, “Sumgayit: Beginning of the Collapse of the USSR”, Aslan Ismayilov addressed the foreign diplomatic corps on his official Facebook page.
The address reads as follows:
“To all the foreign diplomatic corps located in Azerbaijan, especially to the representatives of the European Union countries!
I share with you my thoughts on the resolution of the European Parliament adopted today.
I am now 65 years old and have witnessed many events so far. I’ve never made a political claim, but human rights and freedoms have always been of my interest. I have worked as a lawyer in various fields since 1983 until today. Since 1994, my activity has been solely related to human rights, including in the international world.
I am 65 years old and have been a direct participant and witness to many events. I have never been involved in politics, but human rights and freedoms have always been in my interest. Since 1983, I have worked as a lawyer in various fields. Since 1994, my activity has been exclusively related to human rights, including in the international world. In the second half of 1990, before Azerbaijan became a member of the Council of Europe, most experts from Europe and the United States would first come to my office on Nizami Street in Baku and inquire about my opinion on the integration of Azerbaijan into the West. Many of those meetings were covered in the periodical press of that time. During those years, ambassadors and employees of many European Union countries and the United States visited my office.
I had many meetings in the embassies of those countries and in the offices and residences of the ambassadors. At that time, I wished with all my being for the establishment of a democratic society in my country, I believed that the USA and Europe were just, and I supported the pro-Western policy of my country with all my might. I am sure that the embassies of those countries knew very well that I was repeatedly expelled from the bar association and persecuted because of this position. For those who don’t know, I advise them to look at the reports of world-renowned human rights protection organizations published at that time. I am not yet talking about my known and unknown meetings with the highest-ranking representatives of the mentioned countries. My purpose in bringing this to your attention is to let you know that I have the opportunity to analyze what is happening in my country and the world.
In 1991-1993, I was in the frontline in Nagorno-Karabakh many times and I saw with my own eyes what kind of physical and moral terror our citizens were subjected to by Armenian separatists. In early April 1993, I led the reception and accommodation of refugees who crossed the snowy and blizzard-covered Goshgar mountains from Kalbajar, which was occupied by the Armenian armed forces, and landed in Dashkasan region. There were hundreds of thousands of refugees from Shusha, Lachin to Kalbajar, and then Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Zangilan, Gubadli, Agdam. I cannot say the officials of the government, but what I personally saw as a participant in those events, all the well-known human rights organizations, officials of the United States and European countries (among them the assistants of the Presidents of the United States, officials of the White House, the State Department, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Walter Schwimmer, the President of the Parliament, Lord Russell Johnson, the head of the UN office in Geneva and many other officials).
In addition, I am sure that the embassies of those countries saw with their own eyes that in 1993-1994 there were about 1 million refugees who took refuge in Baku and other regions of Azerbaijan from Karabakh and lived in misery in iron wagons. However, neither in those years nor after that, I have never seen the attitude of the USA and European countries towards the people who left Karabakh. From 1996 to 2005, in my meetings with officials in the United States and Europe, in the offices of the UN in New York, Geneva, OSCE in Warsaw and Vienna, and in the meetings of the European Council in Strasbourg and Paris, I repeatedly mentioned violations of human rights and freedoms, bribery and corruption in our country. My speeches were received with great respect. However, my conversations about the displaced refugees from Karabakh were met with dissatisfaction.
At the 2001 OSCE meeting in Vienna (that meeting was chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania), I told everyone in my speech at the plenary session that US and European diplomats are not interested in human rights and freedoms in countries like Azerbaijan, but in their own income. It is true that after that speech, the ambassadors of the European Union, the Council of Europe, the United States, England, and other countries that I don’t remember now, who were represented in the OSCE at that time, wanted to receive me and explain that my views were wrong. But I wasn’t wrong then and I’m not now. Today’s resolution once again showed that the USA and European countries are not interested in human rights and freedoms but in their own interests and the wishes of various lobbies. Human rights and freedom come to your mind when countries like ours want to conclude some big contracts and get privileges from the authorities. It is at such times that grant-giving organizations controlled by the authorities in the USA and Europe show their generosity to NGOs operating in countries like ours, and thereby force the authorities to make concessions in the agreements in accordance with the interests of your countries.
As I read today’s aforementioned resolution, I regret that I spent the most productive years of my life promoting the countries you call the cradle of democracy, because I do these things not because of my financial interests (I would like to inform you that I have never received a grant in any form, even though it has been offered many times), but for my own sake. I did it according to my worldview and desire. Even today, I consider the democratic structure to be, without alternative, a structure for people’s well-being, and comfortable and dignified living.
I am sure that the anarchy, arrogance, attacks on sovereign states, and the trampling of international laws accepted by human civilization are happening in the world today precisely because of the double standards of your states. In 1990-2010, these double standards, bribes and corruption in the international field could have gone unnoticed, because today’s communication and technical means were not available. Now the world has become globalized, much smaller, and ordinary citizens already know the injustices that are happening.
This protest of mine is not only related to the injustice against Azerbaijan. With this, you are also leading the world into the abyss, destroying what thousands of democracy devotees have achieved at the cost of their lives, and your countries will bear the heavy consequences of this in the first place. Only totalitarian and despotic regimes will win from these double standards. Know that there are fewer and fewer young people who follow the idea that you announced. This is the undermining of democratic values and trust in it all over the world.