Zatik consiglia:
Iniziativa Culturale:



By Gayane Movsessian April 07, 2006

The spring session of PACE will be held in Strasbourg on April 10-13. A report titled "Refugees and Displaced Persons in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia" prepared by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population will be discussed during the session. The report has been prepared by Boris Sileviks (Latvia, socialist faction).

The information presented in the report has caused a shock in Baku. According to the report, 235 thousand refugees from Azerbaijan live in Armenia. 15 thousand people were granted Armenian citizenship in 2001 and 16 thousand in 2002. The refugees that are granted citizenship lose their refugee status.

In Azerbaijan, the report states, there are 560 thousand internally displaced persons from the territories adjacent to Nagorno Karabagh and only 8606 refugees. 8500 of them are Chechens, over 100 refugees are from Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq. The Azeri refugees from Armenia that have received Azeri citizenship are no longer considered refugees.

Baku insists that the number of refugees from Armenia is 250 thousand. Azerbaijan is concerned that the refugees that were granted Azeri citizenship have lost their right to return to their previous place of residence which is Armenia. Currently Baku is exploring
the possibilities of depriving these people of their citizenship and restoring their refugee status.

> the legal and judicial perspective, these 250 thousand people should not be considered citizens of Azerbaijan. The Azeri constitution allows the president to grant citizenship to individuals that request citizenship. However, there have been no such applications.

Citizenship was granted to refugees from Armenia with no previous application rocedures. This means that procedural violations occurred when granting citizenship," the Azeri representative to PACE Gyultekin Hajiyeva stated.

She proposes to deprive the former refugees from Azeri citizenship and grant them legal residence status. Hajiyeva believes the Azeri government has to do its best to settle this issue as soon as possible. "I have discussed the issue with relevant agencies in Azerbaijan.

They supported my position and I hope the issue will be settled soon. In any case, it is in Azerbaijan's interests." Commenting on the situation with refugees, member of the international relations committee of the Azeri parliament Sabir Rustamkhanli noted, "Hundreds of thousands of refugees were granted Azeri citizenship in 1998 so that they could participate in the elections. This was in the interests of some forces."

It looks that today Azerbaijan no longer needs the votes of the refugees from Armenia. It should be noted that in 2005 the leader of the refugees, ex-minister of healthcare Ali Issanov was arrested in Azerbaijan for "attempts of seizing power and forming military
groups". The Azeri leaders' statements sound as if they were speaking about some sheep and not human beings.

Baku is increasingly concerned that the refugees will not want to return to Armenia, which our ambitious neighbors call "Western Azerbaijan". An association has been established in Azerbaijan called "return to Western Azerbaijan" that includes Azeri refugees from Armenia.

The leader of the association Rizvan Talibov calls on the Azeri refugees to return to Armenia and demand autonomy that would be similar to the autonomy that the Armenians in Nagorno Karabagh will have. Judging from the statements made by Azeri political leaders this idea was not authored by Talibov. As they say, there is no smoke
without fire.


Il sito è curato dall'Arch. Vahé Vartanian e dal Dott. Enzo Mainardi;
© Zatik - Powered by Akmé S.r.l.