24 October 2019, 11:15

Publication of phone talks of US and EU diplomats results in scandal in Baku

Azerbaijani pro-governmental media have published records of conversations of Gyultekin Gadjibeili, an oppositional politician, with US and EU diplomats regarding the dispersal, on October 19, in central Baku, by law enforcers of participants of the unsanctioned protest action.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on October 19, in central Baku, law enforcers dispersed an unsanctioned protest action, announced by the National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF) and the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA). By using violence and force, policemen detained Ali Kerimli, the PFPA, oppositional politicians Tofig Yagublu, Vakhid Magerramli and others. The Baku police reported 60 detainees; 42 of them were released after warning.

On October 20, on air, the "Real" TV broadcast the programme "Time with Mirshakhin", in which its presenter and head of the TV channel, Mirshakhin Agaev, accused Gyultekin Gadjibeili, a member of the Coordination Centre of the National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF), of espionage, and showed the actions of William Solly, an employee of the US Embassy, and Denis Daniilidis, an employee of the EU's Representation Office, as interference in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan. The programme presented audio recordings of Gadjibeili's telephone conversations with Solly and Daniilidis, where the oppositionist informed the diplomats about the protesters' detentions and drew their attention to law enforcers' tough actions.

In the afternoon on October 21, the record of the programme was deleted both from the TV channel's website and from the websites of a number of other mass media, but users managed to distribute the record thereof on the YouTube.

Gyultekin Gadjibeili, a member of the NCDF's Coordination Centre, called the distribution of the audio records of her talks with diplomats a disgrace.

Michael Dickerson, the US acting Chargé d'Affaires in Azerbaijan, said he welcomed the removal of articles and allegations against the employee of the US Embassy from Azerbaijani websites.

"The recent accusations against the USA that America is interested in disrupting stability in Azerbaijan are false and absurd," Mr Dickerson said in a video message.

The TV channel and other mass media outlets that had spread the audio records of the oppositionist's talks with the diplomats were performing the authorities' order, said Khikmet Gadjizade, the head of the "Far Centre" for Political and Economic Researches.

According to his version, wiretapping of diplomats and, moreover, leaks thereof into mass media are contrary to international conventions.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 24, 2019 at 05:23 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid Source: CK correspondent

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