The response by the Ombudsperson of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Statement of the Secretary General of the European Ombudsman Institute
The recent provocative attacks of the Armed Forces of Armenia in the direction of Tovuz district of Azerbaijan aimed to create new conflicting sources, deeply concern us. This act of aggression deliberately targeted civilian population and civil structures which is the obvious violation of the humanitarian law.
I have received numerous appeals from the civil population faced these unexpected provocations by the Armenian Armed Forces and suffered from material losses due to their houses and livestock damaged as a result of artillery attacks. As the Ombudsperson of Azerbaijan, I have immediately issued a statement on this regard and also have conducted the fact-finding investigation in the civil settlements which were shelled by the armed forces of Armenia. During the monitoring, I have gathered many facts that prove the criminal acts of the Government of Armenia. My Interim Report on this monitoring has already been sent to the relevant international organizations, as well as to the European Ombudsman Institute.
I was expecting the EOI will issue a statement condemning the attack and call Armenia to stop the provocative attacks and put an end to the occupation of the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan. By doing so, the EOI would show the solidarity with the humanitarian law and four resolutions of the UN Security Council that demand unconditional withdrawal of the armed troops of Armenia from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. But instead, speaking on behalf of the EOI, the Secretary General of this organization, Mr. Josef Siegele has preferred to show his biased position.
Expressing his concern over the alleged argument as if Azerbaijan may launch missile attack on Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant of Armenia, he only assists those who try to distract the world community from the violence and human tragedy occurred in the state border of Azerbaijan as a result of sudden attack by Armenia.
At this moment when the military attacks are still continued by Armenia, I don’t want to dwell on the issue of Metsamor NPP which is a real threat to whole region. As Ombuds Institution, we many times raised this issue. However, it would be helpful to look at the answer of the Vice-President, Federica Mogherini (served from November 2014 to November 2019) on 6 October 2017, on behalf of the EU Commission to the question on Metsamor NPP. In the answer, she says, “The EU is fully aware of the risks posed by the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant (MNPP). Therefore, a swift closure and decommissioning of the MNPP remains a key objective for the EU and the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan, as this power plant cannot be upgraded to meet internationally recognized nuclear safety standards.”
However, it seems that the Armenia does not wish the closure of the plant and use it for its manipulative aims. In fact, there are many internationally recognized scientific sources, which proves that MNPP poses a great threat for the region and may cause humanitarian disaster.
The Secretary General of the UN, Mr. Antonio Guterres gives good advice to the people on how to refrain from misinformation, which is running rampant online – endangering our lives. He recommends to ask ourselves 5 questions before sharing the information. Who made it? What is the source of information? Where did it come from? Why are you sharing this? When was it published?
We are concerned about the Statement of Secretary General of the European Ombudsman Institute based on untrusted resources. We even doubt that the members of the board of this institute signed or supported this document. We hope that the members of the EOI will give an adequate reaction to this biased statement.
We hope that the next time Mr. Josef Siegele will consider the recommendation of the Secretary General of UN to avoid the misleading the people.
The Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsperson)
of the Republic of Azerbaijan
20 July 2020