BAKU: MP Urges Azerbaijani Government To Closely Monitor BBC Broadca

Baku Today
May 26 2004

MP Urges Azerbaijani Government To Closely Monitor BBC Broadcasts

Baku Today 26/05/2004 13:17

A member of the Azerbaijani parliament on Tuesday called the
government to take strict control over broadcasts of the BBC Central
Asian and Caucasus Service to the country in order to prevent the
“unequivocally anti-Azerbaijani propaganda.”

“BBC’s this kind of broadcasts [to Azerbaijan] must be stopped,” said
Mubariz Qurbanli, an MP from the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (YAP).
Qurbanli urged the Ministry of Communications and also
re-broadcasters of the BBC Central Asian and Caucasus Service in the
country to strictly monitor the allegedly biased programs.

One of the re-broadcasters, ANS ChM radio, has already set up
deadline for the BBC World Service management to stop the purported
pro-Armenian programs by June 1 or see its broadcasts stopped in

One of the demands put to the BBC management by Vahid Mustafayev,
President of ANS group of companies, to which ANS ChM radio also
includes, said an ethnic-Armenian producer of the BBC Central Asian
and Caucasus Service, Mark Griogorian, must be fired from his
position. Mustafayev blamed Margarian for the alleged
anti – Azerbaijani propaganda of the BBC.

The Azerbaijani MPs also protested against BBC’s sending one of its
reporters, Steve Eke, to Nagorno-Karabakh on May 12 without receiving
an official permission from Baku.

The BBC World Service has denied the accusations.

“Looking back on the events around Karabakh over the last week, and
even the years, the BBC is convinced that it has got the overall
balance right,” said a letter sent to the Azerbaijani embassy in
London by the BBC Eurasia Region Executive Editor, Olexiy
Solohubenko, on May 14.

With regard to Steve Eke’s visit to Nagorno-Karabakh, the letter said
the reporter was sent there via the only route that was available and
that the route had been used also by journalists from various media
organizations during the past decade.