February 6, 2014 - 18:17 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A member of the British House of Lords, Baroness Caroline Cox replied to the statement of the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the UK Fakhraddin Gurbanov published at The Guardian.
Earlier, the news agency released an interview with a British photographer Anastasia Taylor-Lind who covered a wedding in the Nagono Karabakh Republic. Gurbanov reacted to the article expressing “concern over the interview with Ms Taylor-Lind about her photo of a wedding in Nagorno Karabakh.”
“Arts, including photography, can potentially play an important role in bringing communities together, but people who use the arts need to be objective, unbiased and aim to highlight the plight of all people affected by conflicts. Ms Taylor-Lind should visit Azerbaijan to witness the plight of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons who were forced to flee their homes in Nagorno Karabakh,” Gurbanov said, pressing for Azerbaijan's "permission" needed for visiting Nagorno Karabakh.
In her reply, published by The Guardian, Baroness Cox expressed concern by Gurbanov's response to the article.
“I've visited Nagorno Karabakh 80 times, many during the bitter war from 1991 to 1994, and I witnessed Azerbaijan's attempted ethnic cleansing of Armenians, including firing 400 GRAD missiles a day on the civilians in the capital city of Stepanakert, and numerous atrocities, including the slaughter of civilians in the village of Maragha in 1992. I saw the homes still smoldering, decapitated corpses, charred human remains, and survivors in shock. In a nearby hospital I met the chief nurse who had lost 14 members of her extended family including her son, whose head had been sawn off. As Mr Gurbanov suggested Ms Taylor-Lind should widen her perspective by speaking to displaced peoples within Azerbaijan, so I suggest he speak to the survivors of Maragha. Azerbaijan's aggression against Nagorno Karabakh has turned into a policy of attempted attrition through economic and military intimidation, with aggressive propaganda threatening further military offensives. This policy prolongs the suffering of civilians displaced by the conflict, leaving many in limbo and in poverty,” Baroness Cox said.
“If Azerbaijan's government removes the threat of renewed military action, supports the shaky ceasefire and pursues confidence-building measures, then perhaps opportunities for peace-building could develop, including provision for displaced peoples to return to their homes – a matter about which the ambassador claims to feel so strongly,” she concluded.