On 27 April 2012, “Yeni Azerbaijan”, the official newspaper of the governing New Azerbaijan Party, carried an article “Diplomatic Order: Opposition, be Ready for Eurovision”, which contains highly libelous and scurrilous content, designed to discredit Azerbaijani opposition parties, civil society and independent media. The article also includes a scandalous photographic collage, depicting German Ambassador to Azerbaijan Herbert Quelle, German Human Rights Ombudsman Mr Markus Loening and the leaders of major Azerbaijani democratic opposition parties, juxtaposed with an image of Adolph Hitler.
The Public Chamber (PC) resolutely rejects libelous allegations in the article, regarding German state funding of Azerbaijani opposition. The PC categorically insists that no such arrangements exist or have existed in the past. The allegations are being taken very seriously and legal advice is being sought with the aim of challenging this attempt at discrediting democratic opposition parties. It is clear that this is a politically motivated act of defamation by the authoritarian regime of Ilham Aliyev.
The Public Chamber utterly condemns insulting images carried in the article. These images seriously damage Azerbaijan’s standing, image and reputation in Europe and beyond, and are detrimental to Azerbaijani-German relations. It is obvious that the authors of the article (at the “Yeni Azerbaijan” Analytical Group) intended to insult and offend Azerbaijan’s German friends and partners and have thus undermined Azerbaijani national interests in Europe. The Public Chamber would like to offer sincere apologies to our German colleagues and friends, who have undoubtedly been offended by this gross violation of acceptable standards. We would like to stress that such articles and actions by the undemocratic authoritarian Aliyev regime bear no connection to the true views and opinions of Azerbaijani people and do not reflect the reality of Azerbaijani society.
The above-mentioned libelous and scurrilous article in the original is here.