Azerbaijan`s Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) Sabina Aliyeva has expressed her opinion related to burning of the national flag of Azerbaijan during the European Weightlifting Championships in Armenia.
Sabina Aliyeva said: “I strongly condemn the act of burning of the Azerbaijani flag at the opening ceremony of the European Weightlifting Championships hosted in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, on 14 April this year, and assess this act as a provocation based on ethnic hatred against Azerbaijanis.
I consider that as the organizer of an international-level sports competition, Armenia should respond to the international community for not fulfilling its obligations related to holding such an event properly and allowing the occurrence of that incident.
This and other similar acts committed by Armenia on the basis of hatred are clear examples of Azerbaijanophobia policy.
As the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan, I urge the international organizations, in particular the International Weightlifting Federation and International Olympic Committee to strongly react to this act of vandalism and to take resolute steps, according to the existing international guidelines, against the organizing state which created conditions for committing such an act resulting in serious violation of rules of conduct of sports competitions”.
To recap, on April 14, during the opening ceremony of the European Weightlifting Championship in Yerevan, a provocation was committed against Azerbaijan. An Armenian designer and stylist Aram Nikolyan ran onto the stage, took the Azerbaijani flag from the hands of the flag bearer, and burned it in front of everyone.
Previously, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan issued a joint statement saying that a decision had been made to return Azerbaijani athletes from Yerevan.