BAKU -- European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes of the Netherlands was barred from visiting a penitentiary hospital in Baku, despite President Ilham Aliyev's permission to do so.
Kroes told journalists in Baku that she met with Azerbaijan's president on November 6 and he agreed she could visit the hospital to observe the conditions for inmates there.
Kroes said that when she arrived at the prison hospital, officials would not allow her into the building.
She said that in her country, "if a president says something, it is always done, as in any democratic country."
A spokesman for Azerbaijan’s Penitentiary Service, Mehman Sadiqov, told RFE/RL that Kroes’ visit to the penitentiary hospital did not take place because of "protocol issues."