Society 15:11 05/06/2015

Germany leadership not to attend European Games in Baku, and athletes call for Azerbaijani political prisoners’ release

Leadership of Germany and government members will not attend the opening ceremony of the European Games in Baku on June 12. The reason to cancel the visit is conditioned by the fact that there are over 100 political prisoners in Azerbaijan, including opposition activists, journalists and human rights defenders, writes Claudia von Salzen on the website of the German newspaper DerTagesspiegel.

According to the article, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will not go to Baku and will stay in Berlin. The Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière who supervises sport has also turned down the trip. Joachim Gauck, the President of Germany, will also stay in Berlin on June 12.

DerTagesspiegel further writes that the ruling regime of Azerbaijan has recently intensified the crackdowns. UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders said that they are relentlessly prosecuted and repressed in Azerbaijan. “During President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Berlin in February, Merkel said that she disagreed with Ilham Aliyev regarding the realization of the human rights,” the author of the article notes.

She further writes that there are over 100 opposition activists, journalists and human rights defenders in Azerbaijani jail. Well-known activist Rasul Jafarov, who tried to draw attention to human rights situation his country ahead of the European Games, is among them.

The newspaper points that the Chancellor, the Minister of the Interior and the President normally attend events of such level. Last year Merkel did not go to the Winter Olympics in Sochi because of the Russian policy concerning Ukraine, however Maizière, the Interior Minister, was there.

According to Turan agency, another influential German outlet Frankfurter Allgemeine reported that the German athletes called for the release of the political prisoners in Azerbaijan. By this, they endorsed the call of the Council of Europe Commissioner Nils Muižnieks, UN special rapporteur Michel Forst, and OSCE special representative Dunja Mijatović.

The author of the article, Christoph Becker, writes that Christian Schreiber from the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) told the newspaper that the respect for the fundamental human rights and the right for criticism is vital. “We join UN envoy’s call on all the countries to respect those rights,” he stressed.

According to the article, Michael Vesper from DOSB also endorsed UN rapporteur’s call. “Of course, we express our solidarity with those engaged in this problem in Azerbaijan. Turning to the official Baku, we claim that German Olympic Sports Confederation stands for human rights and press freedom,” he said.

In June, Azerbaijan will host the first ever European Games, and in 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix. According to international rights groups, the Azerbaijani authorities have intensified the crackdowns against the dissidents so that nothing can overshadow the two huge sport events to be hosted. The European Games will cost several billion dollars. Demolition of a large number of houses started in 2014 in Baku in the framework of the preparatory works for the Games.


CNN: Human rights activists call Azerbaijan ‘Land of Repression’ on eve of European Games which cost 10bn to Azerbaijanis 

Heydar and Ilham Aliyevs’ portraits removed from underground crossings and bridges in Baku ahead of European Games 

Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:


Opposition files lawsuits against Civil Contract
The opposition Mother Armenia faction in the Yerevan City Council has filed three lawsuits against the municipal faction of Prime Minister Nikol...
EU mission in Armenia welcomes first Canadian expert
The EU Mission in Armenia (EUMA) has welcomed the first Canadian expert. “Thrilled to welcome the first Canadian expert Alexander...
Temperatures to hit 28C in Yerevan this week
Showers and thunderstorms coupled with strong winds are expected in some parts of Armenia on Monday and later this week. Rainless weather is...
President: Kazakhstan ready to increase exports to Armenia up to $350 million
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan reaffirmed their strong commitment to enhancing...
Vardan Ghukasyan announces street protests in Yerevan
U.S.-based blogger Vardan Ghukasyan (better known as "Dog”), the founder of the Democracy, Law and Discipline party, has announced...
Opposition MP slams Brussels talks as 'disgraceful failure'
The Armenia-EU-US meeting held in Brussels on April 5 was a "disgraceful failure", Artur Khachatryan, an MP from the opposition...
UK’s Cameron urges Israel to use 'head as well as heart' after Iran attack
British Foreign Secretary David Cameron urged Israel not to retaliate after Iran's drone and missile attack, saying it should "think...
Armenian Foreign Ministry says no 'substantive' talks with UK over Rwanda deal
Armenia and the United Kingdom have had no “substantive” talks on a possible Rwanda deal, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Ani Badalyan...
Police in Yerevan seize flyers about 'missing' ombudsperson
Police officers on Monday seized flyers regarding Armenian Human Rights Defender Anahit Manasyan distributed by two employees of the...
Arsonist targeting Armenian cemetery in Fresno
Since the middle of January, the Fresno Ararat Armenian Cemetery has been targeted by an arsonist, FOX26 News reports. Six total...
New Middle East crisis will directly affect Armenia, MP warns
The escalation of tensions in the Middle East will have a direct impact on Armenia, warns opposition MP Tigran Abrahamyan. His comments came...
UK targeting four countries, including Armenia, for Rwanda deal
Britain is targeting four more countries to replicate the Rwanda migrant deportation scheme, according to leaked documents. The UK has...
Kazakh president arrives in Armenia
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan has arrived in Armenia on an official visit.  He was welcomed by Deputy Prime...
AntiFake employees detained in Yerevan
Two employees of the AntiFake media outlet were detained in Yerevan early on Monday, lawyer Ruben Melikyan revealed. Citing preliminary...
Armenia calls for dialogue in Middle East amid escalating tensions
Escalating tensions in the Middle East are a cause for grave concern, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday following Iran's...
Temperatures to hit 27C in parts of Armenia
Rainless weather is expected in Armenia on Saturday, the met service reports. Showers are forecast for the country’s regions on Sunday...
One killed in cable car accident in Turkey
A cable car ferrying passengers in a mountainous area of southern Turkey broke apart after colliding with part of the metal structure supporting...
Armenian government announces Kazakh leader's visit to Yerevan
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev will travel to Armenia on an official visit on April 15. The Armenian government said in a...
Rally held in Armenian border village
A large group of public figures, politicians and clergymen on Saturday gathered in Voskepar, a border village in Armenia’s Tavush...
Transavia launches Yerevan-Lyon flights
Transavia Airlines launched flights between Yerevan and Lyon on April 13, the Armenia International Airports CJSC reported. Flights will be...
Catholicos Karekin II offers condolences to families of killed soldiers
His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, has expressed condolences to the families of the Armenian servicemen...
Pashinyan: Armenia seeks to prevent all attempts to politicize EAEU
Armenia is seeking to stop all attempts to politicize the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said. "We...
Five killed in Sydney mall attack
Five people were killed and several others injured -- including a small child -- when a knife-wielding attacker rampaged through a busy Sydney...
13 Armenian soldiers hospitalized after military truck crash – Defense Ministry
Armenian Defense Minister Suren Papikyan and Health Minister Anahit Avanesyan on Saturday visited the Central Clinical Military Hospital in...
Kazakh president to pay official visit to Armenia
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan will pay a one-day official visit to Armenia on April 15. He is expected to hold talks with...
Defense Ministry reports no serious injuries after military truck crash in Gegharkunik
The Armenian Defense Ministry says no one was seriously injured in the wake of a military vehicle crash in Gegharkunik Province on Saturday....
Monument Watch exposes Azeri lies about Artsakh's ancient culture
The video "Ancient Aghdam Destroyed Nomadic Heritage", produced by the Azerbaijani CBC TV channel, contains several arbitrary...
Armenian Defense Ministry names soldiers killed in road accident
The Armenian Defense Ministry identified the servicemen killed in a road accident on Friday. Four Armenian soldiers were killed and 20...
Armenia denies false Azeri reports of shooting
The Defense Ministry of Armenia has rejected Azerbaijan's false accusations of cross-border shooting. “The statement of the...
Germany urges its citizens to leave Iran
Germany warned its citizens to leave Iran, saying that there was a risk both of a sudden escalation in Tehran's existing tensions with...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}