Baku, Azerbaijan, May 11
Contrary to the statements made in the mass media when it covers the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, this mountainous region of Azerbaijan is not disputed in any way; it is occupied, Leading Research Fellow at the Center for Strategic Studies (SAM) in Azerbaijan Dr. habil. Kamal Makili-Aliyev wrote in his article in The National Interest magazine.
"So says the international judicial body the European Court of Human Rights," Makili-Aliyev said in his article.
Despite the allegations of Armenia (that have in fact occupied sovereign territory of Azerbaijan) that the remaining ethnically Armenian population of the region has exercised the right to self-determination, it has been proven false again and again, the author wrote.
For once, Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh are not "people" in the sense of rights that are provided by a UN Charter, Makili-Aliyev said.
"Armenians have already exercised that right in Armenia, where they have an internationally recognized state, thus, making them a national minority on the territory of Azerbaijan and not "Nagorno-Karabakh people"," he wrote. "Otherwise, Armenians would have a right to self-determination in US, Russia, France and other countries where they have large communities, creating a horde of small states. This is simply illogical."
No state, including Armenia, has recognized the separatist entity in Nagorno-Karabakh, nor has Armenia laid claim to it, the author wrote.
So there is no dispute on the attribution of the region, and the European Court of Human Rights has actually incorporated these facts into international jurisprudence, Makili-Aliyev wrote in his article.
Moreover, the Court recognizes Armenian military and financial control over so-called "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" and comes to the opinion that Armenia has "effective control" in Nagorno-Karabakh, the author wrote.
So if one state has an "effective control" over the recognized territory of the other state, there cannot be any doubt that the state is occupied; thus, there cannot be any dispute over the attribution of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the author added.
Occupation of someone's sovereign territory does not make that territory disputed in anyway, Makili-Aliyev wrote.
"Mass media is somehow twisting the real discourse and disregarding all of the international legal data on the subject in an attempt to be "neutral" when reporting on the conflict," the author wrote. "However, neutrality does not necessarily mean objectivity. Objectivity is what the image of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict really lacks today. So the discourse that mass media shapes now, instead of playing in favor of conflict resolution actually helps the hostilities escalate."
If the mass media continues to shape its "neutral" discourse and does not lean on the facts, it will only embolden the Armenia's position of staying on their grounds of occupation and preservation of status quo, the author said in his article.