05 February 2019, 15:57

CoE criticizes restriction of national minorities' rights in Azerbaijan

National minorities in Azerbaijan are restricted in their right to express opinions and face difficulties in learning in their native language, while Talyshes and Lezgins are unreasonably accused of separatism, a Committee of the Council of Europe (CoE) has stated. The restrictions on the rights of national minorities are a consequence of the general restriction of democratic freedoms in Azerbaijan, Togrul Djuvarly, a political analyst, has stated.

The CoE's Committee has acknowledged that "the authorities of Azerbaijan had conducted a broad range of activities to support minorities' culture," drawing attention to the efforts "to educate young people in the sphere of multiculturalism and tolerance."

The Committee has also appreciated the progress in improving the living conditions of the people, who left their homes as a result of the Karabakh conflict.

At the same time, the Committee has pointed out that the Azerbaijani authorities failed to fully implement the received recommendations. Thus, the country has no minority-owned mass media; the Internet and social networks are the only platforms for receiving information.

It also notes the "permanent hostile narrative against neighbouring Armenia because of the Karabakh conflict."

The CoE has recommended the authorities of Azerbaijan to ensure the free self-identification and the ability to indicate proficiency in more than one language during the 2019 census, as well as to create the legal framework for the protection of national minorities.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 5, 2019 at 01:43 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medjid; Source: CK correspondent

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