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Vladimir Vardanyan: More than two hundred Armenian prisoners of war are under Azerbaijani custody
16:12, 20.04.2021

The speech of a member of the Armenian delegation to PACE Vladimir Vardanyan:

Honorable Mr. President,

Honorable colleagues,

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, let me congratulate Mr. Tiny Kox for his excellent report. It is quite important to have a document shaping the strategic priorities for our Organization for upcoming years. It is quite important that we have in this document also the current challenges this Organization faces and it is quite important when several emerging rights are mentioned as priorities for our organization. But we shouldn’t forget about the core values of this Organization, we shouldn’t forget about the core rights which should be also respected and which shouldn’t be underestimated even in the situation of the current challenges we face.
The Council of Europe and especially the Assembly as the statutory organ and driving force of this Organization is both a forum for political discussions and dialogue and is also a pillar of democratic security. I would like just to say that this Organization was created to prevent any other horrors of the Second World War, this Organization has been created to be a watchdog for the protection of human rights, for securing of rule of law, and for respecting democracy, this Organization has been created to say never again to the Holocaust, crimes against humanity and all the other wrongdoings.
Just a couple of minutes ago Chancellor Merkel referred to Conrad Adenauer who named the Council of Europe as the conscience of Europe. But let ask a question, whether are we still the conscience of Europe, are we sincere with each other, are we still a value-based Organization.
Yesterday I heard the speeches which remind me books of by George Orwell. Because my Azerbaijani colleagues mentioned, for example, we wage war because we want peace, in reality, national minorities living compactly is rather a majority and a majority is a real minority and should be protected, we are for multiculturalism that is why we are destroying cultural property of the monoethnic society. Yesterday my country was accused of being monoethnic I am afraid that upcoming part of the session my country would be accused of being a democratic state. Where are we going?
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN more than two hundred Armenian prisoners of war are under Azerbaijani custody, there are reasonable grounds to believe that their lives are endangered and they are subject to torture, I would like just once again to say all of you, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, it is not a political issue, it is an issue of human rights, it is an issue of democracy, their rights should be respected.
As a postscript to Mr. Saidov, I would like just to say, it doesn’t matter if it will be any thematic monitoring of country monitoring you will be in each and every report and till you didn’t change the policy of your state.

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