By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijani presidential aide Hikmat Hajiyev has called on international organizations to condemn the killing of two journalists and a local official in a mine blast in liberated Kalbajar region on June 4.
“Journalists of AzTV and Azertag became victims of a mine deliberately put by Armenia while withdrawing its troops from Kalbajar. International institutions are called for solidarity and condemning this incident. Siraj Abishov and Maharram Ibrahimov, rest in peace!” Hajiyev wrote on his official Twitter account on June 4.
Hajiyev also noted that UN Security Council resolution 1738, adopted in 2006, provides for the recognition of journalists working in conflict zones as civilians.
“UNSCR 1738 says: Journalists, media professionals, associated personnel engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered as civilians, respected and protected," Hajiyev wrote.
Later on June 5, speaking at the funeral ceremony of AZERTAC (Azertag) corresondent Maharram Ibrahimov, the presidential aide said that the killed Azerbaijani journalists did a big and important job.
He said that the journalists documented Armenian-committed crimes in Azerbaijan’s formerly occupied territories before their liberation in a 44-day war in 2020.
“Their work will be highly appreciated even after 100 years. They didn’t return, even when AZERTAC and Azerbaijani TV offered them to adjust their working trip. Unfortunately, they became victims of a mine planted by hatred Armenians, their perfidious activities," he added.
He described their death as a great loss for the Azerbaijani media as well.
“During the Second Karabakh War, we also witnessed the courage of Azerbaijani journalists who were next to Azerbaijani soldiers under the leadership of the supreme commander-in-chief,” Hajiyev added.
He stressed that "an appeal was sent to international organizations to condemn this crime. Once again, I express my condolences on behalf of President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva," he said.
While performing the duties in Kalbajar region AzTV cameraman Siraj Abishov, 32, AZERTAC correspondent Maharram Ibrahimov,39, and one civilian were killed in an Armenian-planted anti-tank mine explosion.
These journalists filmed settlements destroyed by the Armenian armed forces on the Azerbaijani territories liberated from the Armenian occupation in a 44-day war in November 2020.
Armenia continues to refuse to provide maps of hundreds of thousands of mines it had planted on the Azerbaijani territories over three decades of occupation.
Azerbaijan has made numerous appeals to international organizations and lodged an intergovernmental complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over Armenia's refusal to provide maps of mines in the formerly occupied territories.
President Ilham Aliyev on April 20 said that Armenia’s refusal to provide mine maps amounts to another war crime committed by Yerevan. He also said that demining of the newly-liberated territories will be the first stage in the process to return Azerbaijani IDPs to their homes.
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