Azerbaijan: Update to AZE29185.E of 31 March 1998 regarding Azerbaijani citizenship law; whether there are any legal or practical impediments to ethnic Armenians asserting Azerbaijani citizenship
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 March 1999|
|Citation / Document Symbol||AZE31323.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Azerbaijan: Update to AZE29185.E of 31 March 1998 regarding Azerbaijani citizenship law; whether there are any legal or practical impediments to ethnic Armenians asserting Azerbaijani citizenship, 1 March 1999, AZE31323.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ac578.html [accessed 18 April 2015]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
According to the Turan news agency, the Azerbaijani parliament passed the draft law "On Citizenship of the Azerbaijani Republic" at third reading on 30 September 1998. The report indicates that the bill provides for the granting of citizenship rights to refugees as well as the right to vote in presidential elections. The Press Officer at the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Washington, DC was unable to state whether the law on citizenship had been proclaimed (23 Mar. 1999). Subsequent reports indicating whether the law had been proclaimed could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
For information concerning the citizenship law applicable until such time as the new law is proclaimed, please consult AZE29185.E of 31 March 1998 and attached letter sent by the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
With respect to whether there are any legal or practical impediments to ethnic Armenians asserting Azerbaijani citizenship, Country Reports, 1998 states that:
While official government policy is that ethnic Armenians are free to travel, low-level officials seeking bribes have harassed Azerbaijani citizens of Armenian origin wishing to emigrate or obtain passports.
A new immigration law passed third reading by the Azerbaijani Parliament on 22 December 1998 (Turan 23 Dec. 1998) and a Presidential decree applying the law was signed on 12 March 1999 (ibid., 18 Mar. 1999). However, this law deals with the granting of immigrant status to foreign citizens and stateless persons and not citizenship directly.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Response.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1998. 1999. Washington, DC: US Department of State. [Internet]
Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Washington. 23 March 1999. Telephone interview.
Turan [Baku, in Russian]. 18 March 1999. "President Aliyev Signed the Law 'On Immigration.'" (BBC Monitoring Service/24 Mar. 1999/Open Society Institute)
_____. 23 December 1999. "Azerbaijan: Azeri Parliament Passes Immigration Law." (FBIS-SOV-98-359 25 Dec. 1998/WNC)
_____. 30 September 1999. "Azerbaijan: Refugees to be Given Right to Vote." (FBIS-SOV-98-274 1 Oct. 1998/WNC)
Additional Sources Consulted
Unsuccessful attempts to contact the Imternational Organization for Migration, Baku.
Electronic sources: IRB Databases, Internet, LEXIS/NEXIS, WNC, IOM Legislation Database.