World Association of Press Councils issues statement on Azerbaijani journalists killed in Kalbajar

Baku, June 7, AZERTAC

The World Association of Press Councils has issued a statement on the killing of a correspondent of the Azerbaijan State News Agency (AZERTAC) Maharram Ibrahimov and a cameraman of AZTV Siraj Abishov in a mine explosion in Kalbajar.

AZERTAC presents the statement: “On June 4, 2021, two media representatives, a cameraman of AZTV, Siraj Abishov, and correspondent of the Azerbaijan State News Agency (AZERTAC) Maharram Ibrahimov, were killed in a mine explosion in the Kalbajar region of Azerbaijan. The World Association of Press Councils is deeply touched by the tragic news. We extend our deepest condolences to the relatives, friends and colleagues of both media representatives.

The attacks on media representatives fulfilling their professional duties are a very frightening and devastating trend in the modern world. The symbolism here lies in the fact that it is not just journalists that are attacked but freedom of speech too. Any obstacle put on the way of society receiving necessary information deserves to be met with outrage. This is how we assess the loss of Siraj Abishov and Maharram Ibrahimov. We hope that the perpetrators of this terrible act will soon receive a deserved punishment. For this, the international community needs to react seriously.

According to our information, the problem of mined areas in the liberated lands of Azerbaijan has claimed the lives of many civilians. It is also known that Armenia refuses to provide minefield maps. The deaths of Maharram Ibrahimov and Siraj Abishov showed that journalism is also endangered. Both media representatives went to Kalbajar to perform their professional duties.

Taking all this into account, we appeal to the international community and media organisations, and state that in the 21st century, there is a need for serious solidarity in order to eliminate such actions against humanity as a whole. The tragic fate of Maharram Ibrahimov, Siraj Abishov, as well as other Azerbaijanis killed in the mine explosion should be a signal to everyone. Everyone must fully understand that it is absolutely vital to put pressure on Armenia. The main thing for us is the safety of journalists on duty. We very much hope that this problem will be addressed, and all efforts will be concentrated on ensuring that it is dealt with accordingly.”

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