BAKU: Azeri media official displeased with BBC programmes

Azeri media official displeased with BBC programmes

Sarq, Baku
15 May 04

Text of Lala report by Azerbaijani newspaper Sarq on 15 May headlined
“The BBC’s activities in Azerbaijan are not satisfactory’ and subheaded
“The National TV and Radio Council voices its protest”

The National TV and Radio Council has joined the protests that have
lately been aired against the anti-Azerbaijani reports constantly
disseminated by the BBC Central Asia and the Caucasus Service in
its Russian language programmes and the radio station’s pro-Armenian
position on the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict.

The ruling New Azerbaijan Party has already voiced its protests
against anti-Azerbaijani propaganda by the Russian service of the radio
station. In the opinion of the National TV and Radio Council chairman,
Nusiravan Maharramli, in its activities in the Caucasus, BBC radio
should take into account the region’s subtle points. “Particularly,
it should take an impartial stance on the issue of Azerbaijan and
Armenia. We think that in this regard, the activities of BBC radio
are not satisfactory,” he said.

He went on to say that the National TV and Radio Council does not
have the power to deal with the problem. “The BBC is carrying
out its activities in Azerbaijan on the basis of international
agreements. For this reason, the Council has no right to intervene in
its activities. An opinion about the activities of this radio should
be voiced at the state level because the agreements were signed at
the state level,” Maharramli said.

The Council has started monitoring radio programmes. “We cannot
intervene in their creative process. But we should learn whether
these steps are being taken constantly or not. If the monitoring
shows that anti-Azerbaijani activities are under way, we will have to
ask the president to voice his attitude. If the radio is constantly
carrying out these activities in Azerbaijan, why should we not ban
their activities here?”