No:123/20, Head of the Press Service Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Leyla Abdullayeva answers the questions of media on the decision of the European Court of Human Rights on the case "Makuchyan and Minasyan v. Azerbaijan and Hungary" dated May 26, 2020
Question: What can you say about the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the case "Makuchyan and Minasyan v. Azerbaijan and Hungary"?
Answer: We got familiar with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights. Of course, in order to give a specific opinion on the decision, it is important to study it at the level of legal experts, however, the observations on the decision can be shared.
First of all, it should be taken into account that the root causes of the pain and suffering that our region faces today, both at the level of nations and individuals, is the hostile policy of the Armenian nationalist leaders against the Azerbaijani people built on hatred and thus, the aggressive policy of Armenia against Azerbaijan. It is well known that by distorting the main reasons of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the occupying country Armenia is trying to divert the attention of the international community from the ongoing illegal occupation of Azerbaijani lands and the facts of ethnic cleansing in these territories. However, in the decision of the ECHR of June 16, 2015 on "Chiragovs and others v. Armenia" the responsibility of Armenia for the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories has been identified.
If Armenia indeed values human rights and freedoms as much as it claims and respects the European Court, then this country must immediately end the 30-year occupation of Azerbaijani lands and the violation of the rights of more than one million of our compatriots. Also, unless the implementation of the ECHR decision on the Chiragov case of 2015 is ensured, official Yerevan has no moral right to make any demands against our country vis-à-vis the European Court.
Question: What can you say about the main outcomes of the court decision?
Answer: First of all, I would like to note that Armenia's intention to use the European Court as a tool in the smear campaign against Azerbaijan and its attempts to politicize this institution and involve it in the propaganda campaign must be rejected.
Regarding the conclusions of the European Court, it should be noted that in fact the Court did not ensure the main intention of Armenia. Thus, the Court's decision does not demand the annulment of the pardon decree, which is the main subject of the case, or the reopening of the case against the person concerned. On the other hand, the claim of a substantive violation of the right to life was rejected.
Question: Does this mean that, as stated in the decision, the Government of Azerbaijan cannot bear international legal responsibility in this regard?
Answer: Yes, the European Court defined in the decision that there had been no substantive violation by the Government of Azerbaijan of Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
It means, according to the European Court conclusion, Ramil Safarov acted individually while committing the acts and did not represent the Government of Azerbaijan. Thus, the Government of Azerbaijan cannot bear international legal responsibility for these actions.
At the same time, we think that it should have been taken into consideration that the officer of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces Ramil Safarov was born in the Jabrayil district of Azerbaijan occupied by the Armenian armed forces in August 1993 he lost his close relatives in the war, and experienced pain and suffering of the life of an IDP as a teenager.
Question: Regarding the issue of pardoning Ramil Safarov after his extradition to Azerbaijan, the Court found that Azerbaijan could not be held responsible under the stringent standards of international law.
Answer: Exercise of the pardoning is the usual practice used worldwide, and according to the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the head of state has the pardon power.
Let me emphasize once again that, at the root of all troubles stands the aggression policy of Armenia against Azerbaijan and its’ still unresolved consequences.
The only way to end the hostility between two nations is to eliminate the consequences of the conflict, that is, withdrawal of occupying forces from the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan and ensuring the fundamental rights of hundreds of thousands of people expelled from these territories.
Of course, it would be better if the European Court would note at the Press Release on the mentioned decision the fact of aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan and Ramil Safarov as a forcefully displaced person, who is a victim of this aggression policy.