FAON thanks Dutch Parliament for the motion regarding Baku
YEREVAN, JUNE 24, ARMENPRESS. The Federation of Armenian Organisations in the Netherlands (FAON) expresses its gratitude to the Dutch Parliament and in particular to MPs Gert Jan Segers (Christian Union) and Tom van der Lee (Left Greens) who presented a motion requesting from the government not to send representatives to Azerbaijan in case the Dutch national football team qualifies to play the quarterfinals, scheduled to be held in Baku on 3 July 2021. This motion was adopted on 23 June 2021, ARMENPRESS was informed from the website of FAON.
The Netherlands will play against the Czech Republic in the Euro-2020 UEFA European Football Championship on 27 June, and if the Dutch team wins, it will be qualified to play the quarterfinals in Baku against either Denmark or Wales.
The FAON is relieved that in this way the Dutch King or a Minister will not end up in a situation, where – with their presence – they would help the authoritarian president Aliyev with “sportswashing”.
The motion is based on the fact that since the end of Karabakh war seven months ago, more than 200 Armenian prisoners of war are still illegally held captive, among others in the prisons of Baku, in total violation of international law and the cease-fire statement that was signed on 9 November 2020. The motion also condemns the “Trophy Park” that was inaugurated by Aliyev in Baku, where among others the helmets of fallen Armenian soldiers are exposed.
The human rights situation, the lack of freedom of press and of the expression would have been enough to avoid Azerbaijan to be qualified as a host country, not to speak about the many corruption scandals of Azerbaijan in European institutions and countries.
The manner in which and the means used in the second Karabakh war make it hard to understand that UEFA has maintained Baku as a host city. The violation of UEFA principles such as non-discrimination and anti-racism, with so many examples, such as banning of journalists with an Armenian surname or the way a transgender person was treated, who after being badly beaten up in the streets of Baku, was refused medical treatment in a hospital, should have led UEFA to quickly find an alternative location as host city for the games.
The many protest letters that have been sent internationally to UEFA, and to the national football associations, have so far had no result. A letter by FAON to the Dutch Football Association KNVB still remains without reaction.
That is why preventing government leaders from being present in Baku to the glory of President Aliyev is a way to make visible the global protest against the illegal detention of the prisoners of war.
It must be noted that just days ago the Dutch parliament also passed a motion calling for the immediate release of the Armenian prisoners of war. The motion that was adopted unanimously also requests the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs to call upon the European Council to put more pressure on Azerbaijan regarding the release of all Armenian prisoners of war.
The FAON calls on the parliaments of the Czech Republic, Wales and Denmark to ensure in their own way that if their national team goes to Baku, no government representative from their country will attend the match in Baku.