The letter of protest, addressed to Kestutis Drazdauskas and Angelika Schuler, reads that it would be correct to name the film as “Gate to Hell”, since the territories where the movie was filmed were occupied as a result of the use of force and hundreds of thousands Azerbaijanis living there were forcibly expelled from their native lands.
Addressing Kestutis Drazdauskas and Angelika Schuler, Ganjaliyev in his letter reminded them that the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven adjacent districts are under occupation as a result of the military aggression of Armenia.
As a result of ethnic cleansing in the territories occupied by Armenia, more than one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs, he said.
More 80,000 members of the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh have been living as forced migrants in various Azerbaijani districts for more than 30 years, reads the letter.
The letter also notes that the UN Security Council (1993) resolutions recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh region as an integral part of Azerbaijan and demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
This requirement is confirmed in resolutions and regulations of the OSCE, NATO, the Non-Aligned Movement, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and other international organizations, according to the letter.
The letter expressed deep regret over the initiative to film a movie in the occupied Azerbaijani lands, adding that this step supports separatism and irredentism in a region that has already been destroyed as a result of the Armenian military occupation.
It is a shame that the project, in which Kestutis Drazdauskas and Angelika Schuler take part, ignores the gross violation of the fundamental human rights (the right to homeland, the right to ownership, etc.) of thousands of Azerbaijanis expelled from their lands as a result of military aggression of Armenia, reads the letter.
Ganjaliyev urged all persons who participated in this initiative to stop supporting occupation of the Azerbaijani territories, as well as encouraging separatism.
On the contrary, the idea of filming a movie about Armenian and Azerbaijani communities living together throughout the history in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan may contribute to peace, stability, progress and sustainable development in the region, the letter reads.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.