Tatevik Hayrapetyan, Member of the NA "My Step" Faction, Chair of the Subcommittee on Refugees, Migrant Children and Youth, addressed the PACE winter session in Strasbourg.
"Dear colleagues, in the framework of this report, when we talk about regulations and procedures, I want to ask one question to all of us. What to do when a member state maintains basic human rights in an inferior position? We have witnessed Azerbaijan using "caviar diplomacy" to hide its dictatorial reality and human rights abuses.
We have had reports on this topic. The man who has ruled the country for nearly two decades, suppressing and arresting all opposition figures. Representatives of that country, some of whom are even sitting in this hall, bribed some European officials and even endangered the reputation of the PACE.
We all remember the case of Luca Volonte. The latter was sentenced to four years in prison for taking bribes from Azerbaijani officials. Volonte is just the tip of the iceberg, the problem is much deeper. The joint Azerbaijani-Turkish aggression against the civilian population of Artsakh, which was accompanied by war crimes, the bloodshed with the mediation of the Russian side is over, but two months after the signing of the ceasefire declaration, Azerbaijan refuses to return the Armenian prisoners of war.
Let me give you an example to understand the seriousness of the problem. The ECHR has taken an interim measure on a group of prisoners of war, demanding that Azerbaijan provide relevant information. Four days later, one of the prisoners of war was brutally killed. This is unprecedented and a gross violation of the Convention on Human Rights.
As a female MP, I would also like to emphasize that there is also a female prisoner who is being held in Azerbaijan. My compatriot Maral Najaryan's only fault is that she is Armenian and took bread to the soldiers who were protecting the peaceful population of Artsakh. Dear colleagues, this discussion is about values. The CE member state violates fundamental human rights and international law, and I want to ask what to do to prevent it", said Hayrapetyan in her speech.