Azerbaijan Press Council appeals to Media Defense human rights organization

Politics Materials 29 March 2021 17:13 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijan Press Council appeals to Media Defense human rights organization

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Mar.29


The Azerbaijan Press Council has sent an appeal to the Media Defense human rights organization regarding its lawsuit filed against Azerbaijan to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on behalf of journalists who are citizens of Armenia, Trend reports.

According to the data indicated in the lawsuit, on October 1, 2020, the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan fired at the Khojavand district (in the lawsuit it is indicated as Martuni).

“As a result, three journalists who were there were injured, and their guide was killed. Of the four who applied to Media Defense, three are journalists, and the fourth is the brother of the deceased person,” the appeal says.

The lawsuit, which claims that during the hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces allegedly violated the norms of international law, attacks on journalists became regular and they were obstructed in their professional activities, it is also said that Azerbaijan ignored the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights.

“In this regard, we declare that the Khojavand district, which Armenia calls Martuni, is an integral part of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The region was under the occupation of Armenia for about 30 years. Its population - Azerbaijanis - all this time lived away from their native lands as forced migrants. A disdainful attitude was demonstrated towards the population’s rights and freedoms. During the Second Karabakh War, the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan put an end to this injustice and ensured control over the Khojavand district,” reads the appeal.

“According to international law, the Khojavand district is the territory of Azerbaijan. Visits to its territory, including by journalists, had to be coordinated with the Azerbaijani side. Unfortunately, this requirement was not met either before the war or during it, and numerous visits of journalists from abroad, including Armenia, were organized there,” the appeal noted.

“In this case, Armenia was responsible for ensuring the safety of media representatives. This country, which has occupied Azerbaijani lands for almost 30 years, ignoring the requirements of international law, has once again demonstrated a clear disregard for these rights and principles by organizing illegal trips of journalists to these territories. It is no coincidence that on October 9, 2020, the Azerbaijan Press Council issued a statement regarding the trips of journalists from abroad to Nagorno-Karabakh,” the appeal stressed.

The document stressed the inadmissibility of visits of media representatives to the region without the consent of Azerbaijan, as well as the fact that Armenia deliberately endangers the lives of journalists. The statement was sent to the world's leading media, journalists and human rights organizations.

“During the Second Karabakh War, which lasted from September 27 to November 10, 2020, Armenia not only organized illegal visits of journalists to Karabakh but also its Armed Forces carried out attacks on representatives of local and foreign media in the execution of their professional duties,” the appeal emphasized.

On October 19, 2020, the Azerbaijan Press Council sent an appeal to international media regarding the fact that the film crew of Azerbaijan Television and Radio Broadcasting CJSC (AZTV) was shelled in the Aghdam district. The Council made a similar statement on the shelling of the Euronews TV crew by the Armenian Armed Forces. Unfortunately, at this time, the Media Defense human rights organization remained silent.

Thus, the Azerbaijan Press Council considers the lawsuit filed by Media Defense in the ECHR, allegedly due to the violation of the rights of journalists during the Second Karabakh War, as the result of a prejudiced, biased and one-sided approach that was not aimed at establishing the truth but at realizing political goals. The Council regrets that Media Defense became a participant in the games that were initiated by the Armenian lobby and diaspora under the influence of certain pro-Armenian political circles.

The Azerbaijan Press Council, which unites the independent media of the country, hopes that Media Defense will take into account all of the above and revise its preconceived position based on an unfair approach, the appeal said.