“False statements about freedom of speech in our country, the situation with the media in the reports published by the organization, the lowest indices for Azerbaijan in various ratings, the use of primitive forms and methods to justify all this has become commonplace,” the statement said.
“The goal is to discredit Azerbaijan this way, tarnish its image on the international arena,” the statement said. “The obvious manipulations of the Reporters Without Borders organization cause regret and outrage in the Azerbaijani society and the media community as well.”
The Azerbaijani journalists noted that the transformation of such universal human values as freedom of speech and expression into a tool to protect the interests of an organization or the circles it serves is an extremely dangerous and harmful tendency, a clear insult to the concept of truth and justice. The journalists said they protest against this and firmly condemn it.
“Reporters Without Borders did not react to the shelling of Azerbaijani and foreign journalists by the Armenian military during the 44-day Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh war,” the statement said. “The organization issued an ordinary statement in connection with the death of Azerbaijani journalists, namely, correspondent of the Azerbaijan State News Agency Maharram Ibrahimov and cameraman of AzTV channel Siraj Abishov as a result of a mine explosion in Kalbajar district.”
“On the other hand, without any real facts, the organization claimed that the Azerbaijani military allegedly threatened to kill Spanish journalists filming on the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan,” the statement said. “The fact that an organization that has chosen such an incompetent style is acting as a defender of freedom of speech shows that there are serious problems in this sphere at the international level.”
The Azerbaijani journalists once again called on the international community to mobilize against such a manipulator of human values as Reporters Without Borders, an organization preparing the most incredible forms and methods of bias. “There is no guarantee that the primitive methods chosen against Azerbaijan will never be used against other countries. The universal human values, namely, freedom of speech and self-expression, suffer.”
“Reporters Without Borders must be sharply criticized by the international community,” the statement said. “If serious public criticism is not created, the principles of free media will remain a tool for the pursuit of political interests. Azerbaijani journalists worry about this.”
“We are ready to cooperate, share the truth and conduct discussions to eliminate this situation, to stop the injustice that Reporters Without Borders is demonstrating towards our country,” it added.