Famous blogger Lena Miro has revealed that one of her Slavic friends was not allowed to enter Azerbaijan because the border officers decided that she “looks like Armenian.”
“My friend, a brunette with huge eyes, was turned back directly from the passport control in Baku after a whole council of Azerbaijani border guards decided that she looked like Armenian. Thank you for not being put in jail,” Miro said on her blog.
According to the blogger, except for big eyes and dark hair, there is nothing Armenian in the way her friend looks: she is a Slav, her parents are from Poland and Belarus.
“Your child looks like Armenian too," the vigilant Azerbaijani guards said, looking at the blue-eyed little girl, whose father is German.
“Who can vouch in Baku that you are not an Armenian?", the guards said, then tortured them for three hours and sent them back.
The border service of Azerbaijan has a record of denying entry to citizens of various countries due to their Armenian family name.
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.
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 in late March.