Only a week after the
US Helsinki Commission
chair proposed sanctions against Azerbaijani officials, the Azerbaijani parliament is preparing a retaliatory bill.
Rovshan Rzayev, the deputy chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy and State Building, today prepared a bill titled “On the situation of human rights in the United States,”
The document contains provisions regarding what it describes as racial and religious discrimination in the US, restrictions on freedom of speech and press, electoral fraud, violations of the norms and principles of international law.
“Legal corruption and lobbying have become one of the main attributes of the US political system. The ongoing negative developments in the US, as well as a claim to global hegemony compel Azerbaijan to review the cooperation and bilateral relations formed over the years with this country,” reads the bill.
Rzayev argues that organizations operating in the United States have demonstrated double standard vis-à-vis Azerbaijan.
“These organizations are seeking to subdue Azerbaijan – a state with own independent policy – and they are trying to intervene in its domestic and foreign policy by a variety of means, one of which is to have a country under constant pressure by demonstrating a biased stance on issues like human rights and democracy,” according to Rzayev’s bill.
The document also accuses the US of violating international law by not joining international agreements on human rights.
“To date, the US has ratified only four of the 14 UN major documents on human rights. The US is one of the two countries (US and Somalia) that have not joined the convention on children’s rights so far,” says the bill.
Furthermore, the proposed document recommends imposing visa bans on US officials and their family members, including congressmen working to “discredit” Azerbaijan and officials cooperating with the Armenian diaspora. Included in the bill are also leaders of media outlets, NGO representatives and others conducting “a smear campaign” against Azerbaijan. The proposed sanctions would also affect those who derive financial benefit from collaborating with top US officials.
Finally, Rzyaev’s document recommends freezing trade and economic ties between Azerbaijan and the US, as well as Azerbaijan’s participation in operations of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The bill also calls for banning US-based NGOs from implementing programs in Azerbaijan and closing their bank accounts,
“These sanctions could be eliminated if these problems are solved, and the United States will demonstrate a commitment to international law in the Karabakh issue, impose sanctions against Armenia and stop connection with the Karabakh separatists,” the bill concludes.
Rzayev, a board member of the Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh Public Union, noted that he had not yet submitted the bill, but would possibly do so before the end of the year,