Western Azerbaijan Community calls on France to end its policy of discrimination against national and religious minorities in its territory

The Western Azerbaijan Community has issued a statement on the stance of France which contravenes human rights, News.Az reports.

The statement said that it is a great injustice that Azerbaijanis who were expelled from the territory of present-day Armenia cannot return to their homes, and that the state of mono-ethnic statehood, ethnic cleansing and systematic racial discrimination continues in this country.

“Since these actions of Armenia, which violate human rights on a massive scale, pose a threat to international peace and security, the international community has a great responsibility in reversing them. However, it should be noted with regret that there are a number of countries that, with their national practices, behavior contrary to international law and double standards, further encourage Armenia to the policy of racial discrimination. One of such countries is France,” said the statement.

The Community stressed that France's policy of intolerance towards ethnic and religious minorities is a serious concern. “Refusal by France, which is home to a large number of different ethnic and religious minorities, to recognize the rights of national minorities, as well as its repressive acts against them, and its failure to join the Framework Convention on National Minorities of the Council of Europe seriously worries our Community, which itself has suffered from mass violations of rights.”

The Community noted that France clearly aimed to achieve a mono-ethnic society.

“From this point of view, the reasons why France supports all the anti-human-rights behaviour of Armenia, which has achieved a mono-ethnic state through ethnic cleansing, become clear. The fact that France, which calls itself a "country of human rights", has not never expressed position on the rights of Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia is nothing more than support for Armenia's ethnic cleansing policy. In the same way, France seems to ignore the appeals made regarding the destroyed cultural heritage of Azerbaijan on the territory of Armenia and the sending of the fact-finding mission of the UNESCO there,” the statement said.

“As if it is not enough, France is trying to put pressure on Azerbaijan, where a large number of ethnic minorities live in mutual understanding, to justify Armenia's territorial claims,” it noted.

“Our Community has chosen a peaceful, safe and dignified return approach. We would like to reiterate that it is our fundamental and inherent right to return safely and with dignity under international guarantee and verification mechanisms. Our right of return is absolute and non-negotiable. We as the Community are determined to realize this right through peace and dialogue. The international community's support for the realization of this right is necessary for the establishment of the supremacy of human rights and maintenance of peace,” said the Community.

“We call on France to end its policy of discrimination against national and religious minorities in its territory, to immediately join the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of the Council of Europe and fulfil its obligation as the permanent member of the UN Security Council to support enabling the safe and dignified return of Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia to their homes,” the Community added.


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