Letters to Editors and Comments by “Canadian Media Monitor”

Previously we had posted some sample letters by the “Canadian Media Monitor” (CMM) participants. The group continues to vigilantly follow what’s printed in the mainstream media, points out instances of misinformation or partial information, and calls for unbiased and truthful reporting. The below letters and comments are additional samples. Ed.

Dear Editor,

The war still rages in Artsakh despite the wrongful claims of “freelance journalist” Gwynne Dyer’s Azerbaijan-Armenia war is over, but most of the world didn’t know it had started (Nov. 3, 2020) . One wonders how much he has been offered by the Turkish/Azerbaijani well oiled propaganda machine. But the main question is whether The Spec. has lost its ability to verify the simplest of information. Anyone who can type in English on the internet, will find out that the War is Well and Alive. The truth is that the small population of Armenians, after 41 days, in an uneven war initiated by Turkish backed Azerbaijan, with the help of thousands of hired mercenaries, have successfully defended and continue to defend the independent Republic of Artsakh. In addition, feel free to research the endless war crimes perpetrated by Azerbaijan, fully supported and encouraged by Turkey.

You claim Nagorno-Karabakh lies within the borders of Azerbaijan. However, the Republic of Artsakh lawfully became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991, by a majority vote, and was declared a Republic in 1992. Azerbaijan in its attempts to occupy, control, and ethnically cleanse the territory of Artsakh has since then waged a war with the indiginous Armenian people, who have lived there, in their own lands, on their own soil, since time immemorial.

This is not called journalism. It is rather the killing of journalism the same way the Turkey backed Azerbaijanis are killing innocent Armenian civilians. This type of journalism is the beheading and dismemberment of the truth, the same way Syrian mercenaries are beheading and dismembering Armenian POW’s.

If you wish to save journalism and your profession as a whole in the 21st century then I highly recommend to delete this fake misinformation from you site.

Please feel free to reach out if you are interested in obtaining evidence based, verifiable information about the Artsakh – Azerbaijan war.

It is not too late to turn the tide.

Best Regards,

Arusyak Karapetyan

******

Dear Editor,

It is good to see National Post’s consistency in covering the important and heartbreaking matter of war on Nagorno-Karabakh, albeit not always impartial. I am writing to point out and challenge a misquotation from and an unbalanced referral to UN Human Rights commissioner’s statement in this particular article you shared today.

More specifically your article’s title, identical to UN Human Rights Office tweet with surrounding report, creates an expectation for it to provide a full picture of what is considered as war crime. However – it is missing a key segment focusing on verified video constituting a war crime, where Azeri troops are executing Armenian captives. In fact – this was the centerpiece of UN investigation and sadly, is missing from your article, thus making it biased and impartial. In addition, it jeopardizes the journalistic integrity, which a reader would naturally assume an article is put together with.

Further, you state: “Citing data from both sides of the conflict, Bachelet said about 40,000 Azeris had been temporarily displaced by the latest fighting while some 90,000 ethnic Armenians had fled Nagorno-Karabakh and were currently in Armenia.”

As you can see in the original OHCHR article, that I think you have been referring to, the data is not cited by the commissioner herself, but is mentioned as reported by battling parties. The latter may be biased unless researched for verification or validated by independent sources. The 90,000 Armenians displaced from Nagorno Karabakh have been reported by multiple international media, given the targeted and unhinged offensive by Azerbaijan. The only source on 40,000 displaced in Azerbaijan however remains the Azerbaijani Government, who also refuses to share about its casualties, while denying the presence of mercenaries as its recruits. As you know the latter is well-documented evidence-based fact, explicitly covered by multiple reputable media outlets for several weeks now.

Last but not least – while I understand your article is solely circling around a particular UN HR statement from today, one would hope investigative journalism would come to play, showcasing a bigger picture of an ongoing war. As you can see in Human Rights Watch reports from early October 2020 Nagorno Karabakh civilian infrastructures were bombed by cluster munitions from the early days of the war and continue to do so, sadly not anyhow covered in your article.

In summary, the approach you took for covering this particular topic risks creating public confusion and bias, enabling unhealthy perceptions on the matter, and hindering justice to the reality. I believe National Post’s constituents deserve better and should not be exposed to such subjective reporting with embedded misinformation.

With sincere belief that neither misleading nor confusing of the public is your paper’s intent – I hope for course correction and future avoidance of such issues in your publications.

Best Regards,

Marine Adamyan

******

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the article Roots of War: When Armenia Talked Tough, Azerbaijan Took Action (NY Times Oct. 27, 2020) by Carlotta Gall. The article is full of inaccuracies, and your public deserves to be presented with verified facts.

“For years, the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia had agreed to postpone discussion about the status of the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, to avoid inflaming passions. But that changed suddenly this spring when Armenia’s populist prime minister declared the area indisputably Armenian.”

Calling a leader populist right in the beginning of the article, without even mentioning his name, is already aimed at creating a certain perspective for the reader, thus is utterly manipulative.

Furthermore, Nikol Pashinyan, the Armenian Prime Minister, stated numerous times since assuming power that he is fully ready for the resolution of the conflict, acceptable for Azerbaijan, Artsakh, and Armenia. He was the first Armenian leader, who openly said that the resolution should also be acceptable for Azerbaijan. I would like to know why this important fact was allowed to be omitted from this article.

Mentioning that the Prime Minister declared the area indisputably Armenian, without presenting the facts I mentioned in the previous paragraph, is either complete lack of professionalism and due research, or a deliberate misrepresentation of the situation.

This is reinforced by writing “The final nail in the coffin of the negotiation process was when he said that Nagorno-Karabakh was Armenian,” said Hikmet Hajiyev, foreign policy adviser to the Azerbaijani president.”

Had the readers been presented with Nikol Pashinyan’s multiple statements on the acceptability of the solution to Azerbaijan, they would ask a very legitimate question: why Azerbaijani authorities made no effort in restarting the negotiations with Armenia and Artsakh, when the Armenian leader openly stated, that the resolution should also be acceptable for them?

“The two countries returned to all-out war a month ago, with Azerbaijan determined to retake the roughly 13 percent of its land that Armenia seized 26 years ago, displacing 800,000 Azerbaijanis in the process. The fighting threatens to draw in Turkey, on the Azerbaijani side, and Russia, which backs Armenia.”

Stating that Armenia seized Azerbaijan’s territory lacks due legal inquiry. Artsakh has never been part of independent Azerbaijan. Under the Soviet regime, it was a Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO), within the Azerbaijani SSR. Since the region’s population has always consisted of majority Armenian citizens, NKAO separated from Azerbaijani SSR in December 10, 1991, in full compliance with the Law on Secession from the USSR. After the full collapse of the USSR, Azerbaijan, without any respect towards any legal procedures, or towards the right of people for self-determination, launched a war against Artsakh. Why does the article without proper references make claims such as, “land that Armenia seized 26 years ago”?

“Mr. Aliyev is demanding that Armenian forces withdraw to internationally recognized borders in keeping with United Nations Security Council resolutions and basic principles agreed to in previous negotiations.”

Calling the Armenian Prime Minister a “populist leader” and Azerbaijan’s President “Mr. Aliyev” underlines the question of why the article, which is set up a bias right from the beginning, was allowed to be published in the NY Times.

Furthermore, the UN resolutions in question, before being referred to, should be read, and the legal jurisdiction of the UN should be understood. The claim made by Aliyev, that the UN Resolutions are equal to international recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijan is inaccurate, simply because the UN Security Council does not have a legal power to recognize, or not recognize any territory as being part of any country. The resolutions urge for peace, and negotiations, however, since Azerbaijan started the war, it is surprising that Aliyev still refers to the UN resolutions. The claims that Azerbaijan is tired of waiting for the peaceful resolution is misleading, since it was Aliyev who completely ignored Pashinyan’s multiple calls to the peaceful resolution of the conflict.

The role of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in fueling this conflict is consistently downplayed in the article. Turkey is actively supporting Azerbaijan in this conflict. In addition to sending Syrian mercenaries and military equipment, Erdoğan is using the conflict to advance its own strategic Pan-Turanism plans in the region, which is hardly veiled by Erdoğan himself. I would like to ask, why an article, whose title positions itself as a piece providing informed and fact checked information to the readers, fails to mention the huge role of Turkey in this conflict?

Respectfully,

Anna Grigorian

Photo: A M136 R fuse associated with the Israeli-made LAR-160 series rocket found in a residential area in the town of Hadrut.

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