Statement of Azerbaijan Press Council
The Azerbaijan Press Council has issued a statement.
The statement reads:
“The Shusha Global Media Forum on “New Media in the Era of the 4th Industrial Revolution”, held on July 21-23, 2023, has become an important event in Azerbaijan, the South Caucasus region and the world as a whole due to its wide audience and an abundance of topics it covered. During two days of the Forum, the heads of influential media, journalistic organizations and experts discussed the current issues of the fields of media, information and communication.
Unfortunately, Armenia remains true to the habit of conducting a smear campaign against Azerbaijan, which began to manifest itself during the event. Eleven journalistic organizations of the country addressed the participants of the Forum and, showing irrelevant sentimentality, condemned foreign media members and called on them to leave Shusha. The appeal claimed that the Armenian population of Karabakh was allegedly in “blockade” and asked foreign journalists to raise the issue during the forum, which was nothing more than an attempt to politicize this important event and earn suspicious dividends from it.
Another point is that the Armenian side addressed the same appeal to international organizations. In that appeal, unacceptable opinions were expressed claiming that a statement should be issued against the Forum and the activities of foreign journalists who participated in the event should be condemned. As if this was not enough, threatening notes were sent to the e-mail addresses of those journalists, they were blackmailed and literally terrorized. Some participants even had to temporarily suspend their social network accounts.
The circulation of false statements on behalf of those who participated in the Shusha Forum and claims that such statements expressed opinions calling for the removal of the “blockade” of Karabakh are difficult to fathom.
The fact that people claiming to be engaged in media activities in Armenia are opposed to the peace agenda in the South Caucasus and their provocative actions represent abuse of journalism and disregard for professional principles. The Azerbaijan Press Council is worried about this.
The Council believes that cases aimed at misguiding international public opinion and threatening representatives of foreign media are completely unacceptable and require a strong reaction to the matter. The Press Council calls on the international community, as well as the world's leading journalistic organizations, to show solidarity in the current direction and take appropriate measures.
The Press Council also deeply regrets the use of dirty political technologies by the Armenian media. The Council believes that the media organizations of both Azerbaijan and Armenia should not serve to disrupt the relations between countries but, on the contrary, strive to normalize them.
Such speculative steps by Armenia and pro-Armenian circles will not bring any results. The Press Council is convinced that the Shusha Global Media Forum is becoming a reliable platform for in-depth discussion of media issues around the world. It would be good if Armenian journalists do not become captives of adventurous tendencies, are represented on this platform in the future and contribute to the protection of journalistic values.”