On February 1 of 2010 Euronews showed a one-sided and very partial coverage of refugee situation in Azerbaijan. Called Forgotten Victims of a Frozen Conflict it displays the good life of refugees in Azerbaijan, who receive $500 euros a month per person, and mentions nothing about hundreds of thousands of the truly forgotten refugees in Armenia.
Euronews, the flagship news organization in the European Union, can't help the situation by portraying Azerbaijan with its eight million population as the victim and Armenia with its 3.5 million population as the aggressor. Many people from around the world have raise their voice against the approach Euronews has employed in its coverage of refugees in Azerbaijan. Below is the letter of Rouben Galichian to the news editor of Euronews about this coverage. Galichian is a London based cartographer and the author of "The Invention of History".
Mr Peter Barabas
The News Editor
Dear Mr Barabas,
On February 01 you aired a report entitled "Forgotten victims of a frozen conflict" about the Azeri refugees from Karabagh.
Regrettably the report presented one side of the story only, that of the Azeri refugees, who for the last 15 years have been kept in refugee camps and railway cars simply for the reason of political propaganda.
In spite of the millions of petro-dollars pouring into the country, the Azeri authorities have chosen to keep these poor people in the worst possible condition, in order to use them as a propaganda tools.
Compare this situation with that of Armenia. Prior to the conflict almost 400,000 Armenians lived and worked in Azerbaijan, who were first subjected to pogroms (Sumgait, Feb 1988) and then expelled from their homes and country overnight. Yet Armenia, who had only a years ago experienced a devastating earthquake and did not have the financial resources of Azerbaijan either, managed to house those who wished to stay in Armenia.
I am not delving into the details and the origins of the conflict, which was started by the Azeri government, when, after decades of repression, the Armenians of Karabagh (who constituted 85% of the population) tried to express their complaints and wishes, only to be met by Azeri bombs and missiles.
Furthermore, for the past 15 years the Azeri authorities have been injecting their population with such anti-Armenian venomous propaganda, that the new generation of Azeris really and truly believe that the Armenians are Azeri-killing machines. , Is this the way to resolve a conflict? This bring to mind the Nazi propaganda machine, as is also designed to create hatred amongst nations, not political regimes.
To maintain balance and neutrality, perhaps you could send a reporter to Karabagh to investigate and report the story from the other side as well.
With my best regards
Author of "The Invention of History" and other works on the cartography of South Caucasus.