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Azerbaijan Calls On Int’l Community To React To Armenian Journalist’s Death

By Mushvig Mehdiyev January 31, 2019

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Leyla Abdullayeva, Spokesperson to the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan / Report.Az

Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry has expressed its protest at the silence by European political organizations and international human rights advocates with regards to the death of a jailed Armenian politician and journalist who has died from a hunger strike.

Officials in Baku see them as having taken a moderate stance on this issue. The foreign ministry’s spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva said that silence of western organizations on the death of Armenian journalist Mher Yeghiazaryan earlier this week is indicative of a double standard.

“He [Yeghiazaryan] died on January 26 of this year of a hunger strike, which lasted six weeks,” said the ministry’s spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva in a statement issued Monday, according to 1news.az. The ministry’s spokesperson noted that the responsible persons of the European Parliament, the OSCE and a number of states for some reason remained silent about Yeghiazaryan, who died as a result of a hunger strike.

Journalist and vice chairman of the “Armenian Eagles: United Armenia” political party Mher Yeghiazaryan was detained by Armenia’s State Security Service in December. He was then arrested on charges of fraud and extortion of money from the military. According to an investigation, Yeghiazaryan extracted money from the military between 2014-2018 with promises of employment or promotion.

Yeghiazaryan went on a hunger strike on December 5 to protest his imprisonment in Nubarashen prison in Yerevan. His strike lasted over 44 days until he stopped on January 17. By January 26, the 51-year-old’s health had deteriorated severely, and he died.

The European Union reacted to the death of Yeghiazaryan with only a statement from its Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security, Maja Kociancic, issued on January 28 that called on the Armenian authorities, “to ensure proper investigation of this case and take the measure as they would be appropriate following this investigation.”

Bakhtiyar Sadikhov, a member of the Azerbaijani parliament, agrees with the foreign ministry’s claims of double standards.

“The European Parliament has so far not made any statement on Armenia, about why this journalist was detained,” Sadikhov told Trend. “Until now, the European Parliament has never made a statement as to why the leader of an opposition political party was arrested. This shows that double standards still prevail in international organizations.”