24 February 2017
AGBU EUROPE CALLS ON EU LEADERS TO REACT TO BAKU’S ARREST WARRANT AGAINST MEMBERS OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
Brussels, 24/02/2017. The government of Azerbaijan issued yesterday an international arrest warrant against three members of the European Parliament. Frank Engel (Luxembourg), Eleni Theocharous (Cyprus) and Jaromír Štětina (Czech Republic) are wanted by Baku for having travelled to Nagorno-Karabakh to monitor the Constitutional referendum that took place there early in the week.
After arresting the Russian-Israeli blogger, Alexander Lapshin, on February 7, Azerbaijan is pursuing its policy of criminalizing visitors to the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. According to Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, “membership in the European Parliament [...] does not give anyone immunity”.
Whereas efforts towards democracy are made in Nagorno-Karabakh to live up to European standards by organizing a referendum under the supervision of international observers, the authorities in Baku reject those same efforts and threaten to punish those who encourage them.
The Armenian General Benevolent Union – Europe condemns this new escalation in Azerbaijan’s campaign to isolate Nagorno-Karabakh. It is even more intolerable now that it targets EU officials.
AGBU Europe calls upon the leadership of EU to clearly communicate to the government of Azerbaijan that they have crossed the red line.
AGBU Europe coordinates and develops the pan-European activities of the Armenian General Benevolent Union. Established in 1906, AGBU is the world’s largest non-profit Armenian organization. AGBU Europe runs numerous programmes in fields relating to academic research, the preservation and promotion of heritage, education and culture as well as awareness raising, advocacy and leadership training.
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AGBU Europe’s campaign for the European Union’s engagement in Nagorno-Karabakh
AGBU is campaigning for the EU to engage with Nagorno-Karabakh, in line with its policy of “Engagement without Recognition” applied in Northern Cyprus, Abkhazia and Transdnistria.