CANBERRA—The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) has raised the issue of ongoing human rights violations in Azerbaijan to Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, and members of the Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade, according to a statement released by ANC Australia on Wednesday.
In light of the inaugural European Games—currently taking place in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku—ANC Australia raised the issue of the deteriorating human rights conditions in that country and called on the Australian government to protest these grave violations in all official contact with Azerbaijani authorities in a letter to Australia’s Foreign Minister.
In recent months, Azerbaijan has embarked on a global public relations campaign to try and cover up its entrenched human rights issues, and has attempted to present what is a violence-preaching dictatorship in a positive light.
In its letter, ANC Australia made reference to the 2015 Human Rights Watch Report, as well as to Reporters Without Borders, and the Committee to Protect Journalists, who all strongly condemn Azerbaijan’s ongoing human rights violations.
Azerbaijan’s ongoing war-mongering against the Armenians of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Republic of Armenia were again brought to the attention of the Australian Foreign Minister.
The letter reads: “In addition to the ongoing violation of human rights, Azerbaijan has dramatically increased its ongoing military threats against the people of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh and the people of the Republic of Armenia.”
“Over the past six months there have been numerous military incursions by Azerbaijan resulting in over 20 Armenian servicemen being killed. I again reiterate the need for the Australian Government to continue to raise these serious human rights violations in all dealings with Azerbaijan and call on Azerbaijan to adhere to its obligations under international law and customs.”
ANC Australia’s Executive Director, Vache Kahramanian, said: “It is vital that Australia uses its position at the United Nations to raise these serious human rights violations with Azerbaijan.”
“For many years, Azerbaijan has attempted to use its petrodollars to conceal these issues, which have been put into the spotlight as a result of the European Games taking place in the country.”
ANC Australia has said that it will release any responses from the Foreign Minister and/or the Joint Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.