‘The multicultural society of Azerbaijan guarantees the realization of the rights of Karabakh Armenians’ – Ramil Iskandarli

Azerbaijan is able to ensure linguistic, cultural, religious and municipal rights of Karabakh’s Armenians.

Armenians who remain within Azerbaijan will be guaranteed security, “educational, cultural, religious, municipal rights,” President Ilham Aliyev said in its interview to Euronews[1].

From a legal perspective, Armenians, who were born in the Karabakh region, are Azerbaijani citizens, Hikmat Hajiyev, Assistant to President of Azerbaijan, Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration, told TRT World, according to Report[2].

“But during the Armenian occupation of the Karabakh region, Erivan followed a policy of annexation, and it illegally distributed passports to almost all of the region’s Armenian residents,” Hikmat Hajiyev said.

Karabakh’s Armenian residents need to make a proper application to be accepted as Azerbaijani citizens, Hikmat Hajiyev said, adding that by accepting Azerbaijani citizenship, they also recognize Baku’s sovereignty and laws.

On the other hand, Azerbaijan will ensure linguistic, cultural, religious and municipal rights of Karabakh’s Armenians, says Hajiyev.

Chairman of the Legal Analysis and Research Public Union Ramil İskandarli, told laied.az that, the topic of the rights of cultural, religious, and linguistic communities is a complex and important area of human rights and social justice. It encompasses the recognition and protection of the rights of groups of people who share common cultural, religious, or linguistic characteristics:

Cultural rights refer to the rights of individuals and communities to preserve, express, and promote their cultural identities. The right to practice one’s culture, traditions, and customs, as well as the right to access and participate in cultural activities and heritage are fully guaranteed in Azerbaijan. Its important to note that cultural rights are often seen as essential for the preservation of cultural diversity and heritage.

Religious rights: Azerbaijan is a secular country, in article 48 of its Constitution ensures the liberty of worship to everyone. Everyone has a right to choose any faith, to adopt any religion or to not practice any religion, to express one’s view on the religion and to spread it. According to the Constitution the religion acts separately from the government and each religion is equal before the law.

This includes the right to worship, observe religious rituals, and educate others about their faith. Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right enshrined in many international and national legal frameworks.

Linguistic rights in Azerbaijan involve the protection and promotion of languages spoken by minority communities. These rights include the right to use one’s native language in education, media, and daily life. Linguistic rights are important for the preservation of linguistic diversity and cultural heritage.

Holding the Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in Azerbaijan is an indicator of the existence of multicultural and tolerant environment in our country. Establishment of this form of multiculturalism and its broad application is one of contributions of Azerbaijan to the world community.

Multiculturalism in Azerbaijan: Azerbaijani society strive to balance the protection of cultural, religious, and linguistic communities with the need for social cohesion and integration. The concept of multiculturalism promotes the coexistence of diverse communities within a single society while respecting their rights and identities.

Azerbaijan, become famous as a country where was formed the atmosphere of national cultural diversity, where representatives of various nationalities and faiths live in the atmosphere of peace and welfare, mutual understanding and dialogue. The multiculturalism and tolerance historically inherent in the life of Azerbaijanis today became an integral feature of everyday life of each citizen of the Azerbaijani state, irrespective of national identity, language and religion. Not only today’s tolerant manner of life of our people, but also the literary and art, scientific and philosophical, political and legal sources and documents created by this people are the evidence to the rich multicultural past of the Azerbaijani people.

In Azerbaijan, multiculturalism has already turned into a lifestyle which doesn’t have alternative.

Legal Frameworks: Various international treaties, conventions, and declarations recognize and protect the rights of cultural, religious, and linguistic communities. For example, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights emphasize freedom of religion and expression. Additionally, regional agreements and national laws play a role in defining and safeguarding these rights.

In regards to legal mechanisms, Hikmet Hajiyev noted that Azerbaijan is party to various international conventions including Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM[3]). “Under such conventions, Azerbaijan is ready to ensure individual rights of Armenian residents of the Karabakh region.

Overall, the rights of cultural, religious, and linguistic communities of Armenians living in Karabakh region of Azerbaijan are fundamental components of the Azerbaijani state human rights and diversity strategy. Ensuring these rights are respected and protected is crucial for fostering inclusive and harmonious society in Azerbaijan.

[1] https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2023/8/free/politics_news/en/7114.htm

[2] https://report.az/en/foreign-politics/hikmat-hajiyev-karabakh-s-armenian-residents-need-to-make-a-proper-application-to-be-accepted-as-azerbaijani-citizens/

[3] https://rm.coe.int/16800c10cf