Baku. 22 June. REPORT.AZ/ Those who carry out anti-Azerbaijani campaign didn't consider the fact that their statements are stored online and can later be compared.
"The Many Faces of" Emma Hughes
UK ambassador to Azerbaijan Irfan Siddiq expressed a strange position towards the materials published in Azerbaijani media related to the biased approach of British press, the Guardian in particular, towards the First European Games in Azerbaijan.
The ambassador, indirectly admitting the biased approach of its country’s media towards Azerbaijan, said that the UK journalists were forced to criticize the country due to "problems" with the European Games accreditation.
It should be noted however that these media outlets, protected by the ambassador, don't try to push the issue of "accreditation" further because they got an adequate response, as soon as they tried to turn this issue into a problem, admitting at the same time, that it is farfetched and not serious.
In reality, only one journalist was denied accreditation, that is The Guardian's Owen Gibson, and there were real reasons for that. Other "journalist" is Emma Hughes. Mr. Siddig did not take into account the fact that Hughes, detained at Baku airport and sent back to London, though initially presented herself as an employee of the "Red Pepper" magazine later abandoned this version.
The reason is simple: if Emma Hughes arrived in Baku as a journalist, she had to be accredited in advance. Due to the fact that Hughes did not have a single document confirming the application for accreditation, she linked the visa refusal with other factors. In parallel with this, the organizations that Hughes was to carry out the orders for, hurried up and exposed her plans to "secretly cross the border."
Thus, while Hughes was still in the Baku airport, wanting to get a visa as a journalist, claiming that she is the employee of "Red Pepper", The Guardian quickly prepared an article about this incident and the news was spread that a "human rights activist" was not allowed to enter Baku (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/09/azerbaijan-holds-activist-who-attacked-european-games-as-bps-games).
At the same time, "Platform London" environmental organization published an article on its website, calling Hughes its employee. So, who is Emma Hughes in reality? Within an hour, Hughes was presented as working for "Red Pepper" and for "Platform London". But there is more. Amnesty International was to reveal another mission of Emma Hughes.
As it turned out, Amnesty International together with other human rights organizations planned to hold a protest during the opening ceremony of the first European Games in Baku (https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/06/amnesty-international-barred-from-baku-ahead-of-european-games/ ). Emma Hughes and other "volunteers" were separately sent to Baku to participate in this action.
Hughes, who is known for her custom-written articles and statements against Azerbaijan and who repeatedly demonstrated her disrespect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan and her pro-Armenian position, was unable to hide the true purpose of her visit to Baku. During her detention at Baku airport Hughes immediately went online, announced her phone number and called journalists for "help."
Following that, immediately the #FreeEmma hashtag propaganda started to rise on Twitter. At the same time, the media began to spread information that the representatives of "Amnesty International" were not allowed to enter Azerbaijan.
However, there was no information that just a few months ago a delegation of this organization visited Azerbaijan. Hughes who arrived to Azerbaijan with the special mission played a "multi-faceted" role for the US-British-Armenian cooperation, managed from the United States. But she was shortly exposed.
Analyses of this topic show that the technologists of anti-Azerbaijan campaign often use similar tactics. Despite the fact that in order to form an opinion that "All international organizations are jointly protesting against the violation of human rights in Azerbaijan," the statements of dozens of organizations are being voiced, the reality is that the participants of this process are the same: Emma Hughes, Rebecca Vincent, Cathy Pierce and a couple of other people, who are also co-founders of several international organizations.
We have provided some information about Hughes. For a complete picture of the events we should tell a little about Rebecca Vincent.
Vincent is the coordinator of the International Cooperation Group on Azerbaijan, Coalition for Sport and Human Rights, the human rights organization "Article 19", "Platform London" and dozens of other coalitions.
So it turns out that when talking about the "anti-Azerbaijani campaign", we talk about ten NGO's and media outlets, established under the names of 4-5 people. It becomes obvious that the West-organized campaign against Azerbaijan in reality doesn't have any human resources, and is just a bubble, hidden under big names.
This is the typical scheme of a smear campaign, which was used at different times against different countries. But whatever coordinated their activities are, there are always drawbacks. Sometimes the campaign is exposed because of the rush, incompetence, and high-dose injustice. Those who carry out a campaign do not take into account the fact that thoughts they express are stored in digital archives and when compared - the truth emerges.
As a proof, let us pay attention to the claims expressed in connection with the financial resources spent for the First European games. We should note that during the anti-Azerbaijani campaign carried out on the eve of the first European Games, the attention was focused precisely on this issue. And in order to reduce the international prestige of the country, as well as the importance of sports, such factors as "squandering and embezzlement" in financial expenses were inflated.
Look at the distortion of the facts used: mixed numbers were cited with regard to the money spent on the First European Games - 2, 6, 8, and finally 10 billion. For example, "The Guardian" in its issue of June 11 wrote that there have been spent tens of billions: (http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/jun/11/azerbaijan-bans-guardian-european-games-baku-2015).
Although a week earlier – in an issue of 3 June, it was written about $6.5 (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/03/azerbaijan-european-games-human- rights/).
Another UK organization, also participated in this campaign, the famous Index on Censorship in the information published on June 9 said that some 5.4 billion pounds were spent for European Games (https://www.indexoncensorship.org/2015/06/baku-2015-the-foreign-manpower-behind-azerbaijans-games/).
French website ouestfrance.fr on June 14, citing official sources, reported that Azerbaijan spent some $900 million for first European games. It also says that opposition sources claim about some $8 billion was spent (http://www.ouest-france.fr/jeux-europeens-malgre-les-depenses-linteret-sportif-peine-simposer-3481503).
It is obvious that print media, acting as part of the same media or the same campaign, does not even realize that they published different figures four times within a month. However, if those who carry out anti-Azerbaijani campaign, at least for the sake of media ethics, would have paid attention to the official figures disclosed by Azerbaijani government, there would have not been such confusion, and they would have not lost the faith of their readers. According to official statements, Azerbaijan spent slightly over $1 billion on the First European games.
If we consider the confusion with the mentioned numbers, the subjectivity and biased approach towards the events from those carrying out the anti-Azerbaijani campaign, there could've been an opinion not to take them seriously, since they've been exposed. However, the processes indicate that the campaign being carried out against Azerbaijan is long-term oriented, and as they themselves admit the European Games gave them a chance to attract attention.
However, for what purpose are these numbers being exaggerated?
Another "factor", which can be often spotted in the anti-Azerbaijani campaign, carried out from the West, is the alleged violation of the principle of freedom of speech and the press in the country.
The topic of "imprisoned journalists" is the driving factor, towards which goes the most reference. They advised the foreign journalists arriving at the European Games, to find a way to hold an action and "ask for freedom to the jailed journalists".
Yet this "road map" planned out for the IFEX journalists who arrived in Baku got leaked to the press and was publicized. Azerbaijani side said that the country has no issues with the freedom of speech, while the imprisoned journalists were arrested not for their journalistic activity but for certain criminal actions.
If the foreign NGO's wanted to, they would've referred to the information which reflected the real position of those imprisoned, which was published on the website of the Council of Europe (http://www.coe.int/ru/web/media-freedom), and signed by the Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe Emin Eyyubov.
However the NGO's and the media outlets who have joined the anti-Azerbaijani campaign do not refer to this source, as each of them voice the numbers and arguments that have been ordered. And the numbers they put up vary - 7,8,12 imprisoned.
For instance, the European Federation of Journalists claims there are seven imprisoned journalists in Azerbaijan, while the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York says there are eight of them (https://cpj.org/blog/2015/06/baku-2015-press-freedom-azerbaijan-and-the-europea.php).
This is while Reporters Without Borders go as far as 12 (http://en.rsf.org/azerbaijan-did-you-know-that-independent-11-06-2015,47999.html). IFEX also refers to the list compiled by the Reporters Without Borders (http://www.ifex.org/azerbaijan/2015/06/10/euro_games_2015/).
It is no coincidence, they say, that in Azerbaijan there are over 10 imprisoned journalists, since if the number of imprisoned journalists goes over 10, Azerbaijan will join the list of five countries with most imprisoned journalists, such as China, Iran.
Thus, any means to be used for finding additional five people to add to this list.