BBC must stop promoting Armenian separatism - Press Council statement
The BBC channel, including the Azerbaijan service of this media organization, has recently been broadcasting biased materials and putting forward prejudiced claims about the relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia and the situation in the areas of the Karabakh economic region of Azerbaijan populated by Armenians. These materials encourage Armenian separatists in the Karabakh region, the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan, and make attempts at legalizing their “activities”. All this causes a legitimate concern and dissatisfaction, anger and indignation of the Azerbaijani people, the Azerbaijan Press Council said in a statement.
The statement says: “Such a line pursued by BBC represents an obvious disregard for the principles of journalism and an insult to civilized media values. Azerbaijani society believes that journalism should not serve manipulative purposes or abuse the opportunities of free speech. BBC and its Azerbaijan service are ignoring this requirement, providing a platform to separatist remnants in Karabakh, enthusiastically broadcasting their claims, and, as a result, acting in a prejudiced manner and putting the real facts in the background.
BBC’s lop-sided approach based on a distortion of facts related to the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia and sending food aid for the Armenians of Karabakh is unacceptable. This approach is fundamentally against the determination and position of the Azerbaijani people. We firmly state that BBC's giving airtime to representatives of the separatist forces in Karabakh to air fake sentimental scenes represents an attempt to mislead the world community and form a wrong opinion.
Such unacceptable activity of BBC turns threats to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states into a norm and creates an extremely dangerous precedent for different regions of the world. It is a tendency that runs counter to peace and tranquility, order and prosperity. It is extremely regrettable that a media institution that has earned an international reputation for upholding journalistic ethics has become a tool of adventurist politics.
Azerbaijani society, as well as the entire media community, condemn the fact that BBC and its Azerbaijan service have been demonstrating a complete indifference to journalistic ethics, and consider it necessary to take measures against it. Expressing the views of Azerbaijan’s media community and the interests of the Azerbaijani people in general, the Press Council concludes that BBC's current approach to the realities of independent Azerbaijan is inappropriate. Either this media organization should learn to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country by offering an apology and proving its sincere intentions with actual work, or its Azerbaijan service should be closed and its accreditation revoked.”