March 28, 2018 - 14:16 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - An Estonian citizen of Armenian origin was held at the airport in the Azerbaijani capital city of Baku for 12 hours and sent back to Estonia, Armenia’s ambassador to the country Tigran Mkrtchyan said in a Facebook post.
Oganesyan, an adviser to the Chairman of Tallinn City Council as well as Chairperson of the Youth branch of Estonia's Centrist Party, on March 23 left for Azerbaijan‘s capital Baku in order to participate in an international pedagogical conference.
She officially received an electronic visa and together with the Estonian delegation (as its member) left for Baku. But upon Karine's arrival in Baku airport, the Azerbaijani authorities “noticed the mistake” and her Armenian background, Mkrtchyan says, and did not allow her to enter Azerbaijan.
Keeping her for 12 hours in a special zone of Baku airport, they deported her back to Estonia.
“This behavior once again displays the racist, intolerant nature of Baku authorities,” the envoy said.
“Soaked with Armenophobia, they once again show cynical attitude towards European values. I hope the Estonian side will make its own conclusions and will adequately react to this disgusting story, defending the rights of its citizen. The European structures should not stay indifferent too, since Estonia is an EU member state and Karine Oganesyan is an EU citizen.
“And in general, if for a variety of motivations, a country is unable to receive participants and accompanying staff in international conferences, the suitability of holding such events in that country should be seriously revised.”
This isn’t the first case when Azerbaijan denies entry to people with Armenian surnames irrespective of their citizenship, even deporting them in some cases.
In 2013, a Russian journalist, Anna Sahakyan was not allowed to enter Azerbaijan, later being even declared a persona non grata for her Armenian family name.
At various points, Azerbaijan Airlines refused to transport people with Armenian surnames, citing an order from Baku as a reason behind such a decision.
In May 2016, an 8-year-old child with an Armenian surname was denied entry to Azerbaijan at Baku’s Heydar Aliyev international airport.
A Russian citizen, M. V. Uyeldanov (Galustyan) was detained in Azerbaijan over his Armenian origin in July 2016.