BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 5
At today's expanded meeting of the Board of the Azerbaijani Press Council, an appeal was adopted by Azerbaijani journalists to foreign media structures and international organizations in connection with the death of the operator of Azerbaijan Television and Radio Broadcasting (AZTV) CJSC Siraj Abyshev and employee of the Azerbaijan State News Agency AZERTAC Maharram Ibrahimov, Trend reports citing Azerbaijani Press Council.
The appeal, which was signed by over 120 heads of media structures, journalistic organizations and independent journalists, says:
"An employee of the Azerbaijan State News Agency AZERTAC Maharram Ibrahimov and an operator of Azerbaijan TV Siraja Abishov sent to Karabakh died in a mine explosion in the Kalbajar region liberated from Armenian occupation. The incident, which killed another civilian and injured four others, caused deep sorrow, regret and anger among Azerbaijani journalists.
After the end of the Second Karabakh War and the signing of a trilateral statement by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia on November 10, 2020, numerous mines and explosive devices installed by Armenia in the liberated territories at one time led to the death and injury of a significant number of civilians. Despite the clearance of more than 35,000 mines, the number of casualties continues to grow. The tragic incident that resulted in the deaths of Maharram Ibragimov and Siraj Abishov is an indicator that the problem of mined areas is an obstacle to journalistic activities, making this profession very dangerous. It should be noted that employees of both media bodies went to Kelbajar to carry out their official duties.
Armenia refuses to provide the Azerbaijani side with maps of minefields, which not only restricts journalistic activities in these areas, but also prevents the return of internally displaced persons who were forcibly expelled from their native lands as a result of the Armenian occupation. Thus, rights are violated both in terms of providing society with information and in terms of people living in their homes. Armenia, which has been occupying for almost 30 years, has still refused to provide maps of minefields, demonstrates its intentions contrary to international law and opposes peace and prosperity in the region.
It should be noted that large-scale construction work has begun in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan. Foreign companies show great interest in these lands. This interest also determines the influx of journalists from around the world to the region. Armenia's refusal to provide maps of minefields also poses a threat to the lives of representatives of foreign media. This is a deliberate act, a direct threat to human values. We would very much like international organizations, including those influential in the field of journalism, to express their firm and principled position on this issue. We believe that their harsh reaction could be a contribution to the cause by convincing Armenia to turn from the inhuman path. The expectations of Azerbaijani journalists are this.
We reiterate that we, Azerbaijani journalists, are deeply saddened by this incident, as a result of which the correspondent of the Azerbaijan State News Agency AZERTAC Maharram Ibrahimov and the operator of Azerbaijan TV Siraja Abishov were killed. By signing this appeal, we aim to draw the attention of the international community to the actions of Armenia that are contrary to human rights and freedoms.
We call on our foreign colleagues to seriously respond to this fact and put pressure on Armenia to provide maps of minefields. We assure you that supporting this mission will help eliminate the threat to the lives of people, including journalists. This support can also be an important contribution to the establishment of peace, security and stability in the region".