Statement for the OSCE Human Dimension seminar


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From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 16:30:31 +0200 (EET)
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Subject: Statement for the OSCE Human Dimension seminar

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: Eldar Zeynalov <eldar@azeurotel.com>

Written Statement for the OSCE Human Dimension seminar


OSCE HUMAN DIMENSION SEMINAR
Vienna, 25 September 2000

WRITTEN STATEMENT

The Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan would like to attract your
attention to the situation of forced migration in Azerbaijan Republic.

As a result of ethnic cleansing of Armenia from Azeris and foreign
occupation of 20% of the territory of Azerbaijan, there are about
200,000 refugees and over 600,000 internally displaced persons. After
many years of deportation, they are still waiting for repatriation,
and without a job opportunities become the most marginalized group of
population.

You know that UN keeps a distance from the problem of peace resolution
of conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. However, the monopoly of the OSCE
Minsk Group to mediate the peace negotiations did not promote their
real progress. 
In the visible contrast with the stagnating negotiations of officials,
the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are more successful in the
mutual contacts and have own vision of the confidence-building in the
eve of peace solution of the conflict. It would be beneficial to
initiate the exchange of ideas between the official and unofficial
peace processes. The OSCE could start with the meetings of the Minsk
Group officials with the local NGO communities.

It sounds scandaleous that after 12 years of the conflict, Azerbaijan
yet has not a comprehensive migration service. One of direct results
is the irreliable statistics. For example, in 1994, there had been
announced 1 Mln. 30 thousands displaced population, now the total
figure is about 850,000. Nobody was seriously punished for the
falsification of the statistics, which permitted to steel the
humanitarian funds.

The USA still remains in the position to prohibit the direct
humanitarian and technical aid to only party of this conflict,
Azerbaijan. That deprives the flows of American humanitarian aid the
proper control of American and Azerbaijani government and provocate
the establishment of formally non-governmental bodies embezzling the
humanitarian aid.

Azerbaijan also gave an asylum to 50-60 thousands of Meskhetians
deported from Georgia. Their repatriation is ignored by the Georgian
government. The wide-spread opinion is that the obligations taken by
Georgia before Council of Europe in 1999 are a simple trick, a
12-years time-out for avoiding the real progress.

The economical situation in Azerbaijan is stable stagnating because of
war and painful transition to the market economy. According to the
unofficial sources, 1 Mln. to 1.5 Mln. Azerbaijani citizens left the
country and deal with the small business in other CIS countries.
Living as the labour migrants in Russia, they have no real protection
of both Russian and Azerbaijan governments and often are in the
situation of out of law. There is the openly racist approach towards
the "persons of Caucasian nationality" in Russia, aggravating by
Chechenian war.

The practice of simplified extradition of political emigrants by the
CIS countries is based at the mutual agreements. That violates the
provisions of Convention 1951 about the status of refugees.

The similar document has been agreed with Iran, what created the
well-justified fears of the Iranian political emigrants enjoying
asylum de-facto in Azerbaijan. There also is uncertainty of the legal
states of Afganies and male emigrants from Chechnya.

>From other hand, the combination of political tension and economic
stagnation provocate many thousands of Azerbaijani citizens to seek
asylum in some Western countries with the false claim of being
political emigrants. There were about 4,500 false asylumseekers only
in Germany during last 3 years.

So, the HRCA asks the OSCE to use their influence to resolve of the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and to improve the political and human
rights situation in the country. It would be the best way to prevent
the migration flows from Azerbaijan to the Western countries

Eldar Zeynalov,
Director

Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan
165-3 Bashir Safaroglu Street
Baku 370000, Azerbaijan
Phone +994-12-973233
Fax  +994-12-970679
E-mail: eldar@azeurotel.com

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