Ed Ram: Civilians should never be targeted

Interview with freelance journalist Ed Ram, who used to work for BBC for about 7 years and now writes for UK newspapers.

-After the Azerbaijani aggression started, a lot of international journalists went to the frontline to cover the offensive. Due to them, the truth is being elucidated. You, yourself, have visited the frontline, would you please tell us your point on the happening, the impressions you have?

-All I have seen there for the first time is the city which is being shelled, and how civilian lives are being taken by the shelling. That’s clearly a targeting of a civilian infrastructure. I do not know how accurate the Azerbaijani weapons are, they’ve hit the civilian infrastructure, civilian housing, they kill civilian people, towns and cities are being deserted and lives are being changed in Stepanakert and Shushi, as well as in Martuni which was pretty much deserted. I have seen the war with a very one-sided view and I have been embedded with the Armenian Military and the Nagorno-Karabakh, I have seen from one side but it seems like a lot is going on.

-You mentioned about the accuracy of the Azerbaijani weapons. Many journalists have been injured when conducting their professional duties despite the fact that they had the signs of the Press. One of the Russian journalists, Yuri Kotenok, was injured in the Shushi church. Do you think they target the journalists deliberately?

-I do not know if they are specifically targeting journalists. Yes, some of the weapons are accurate but I don’t know. Journalists’ right to cover the conflict situations should be respected by nations.

– There is a famous black list in Azerbaijan, where one may find all the people who visit Artsakh; for instance, George Clooney, Montserrat Caballé who, by the way, held a concert in Stepanakert, as well as many journalists. You are an independent journalist who visited Artsakh, what if you happen to be that black list as well?

-I don’t know very much about that black list. I think the journalists should be allowed to do their job. They should not stop doing their job and reporting fairly on the certain conflict situation.

-The Azerbaijani side denies they have shelled and targeted non-military objects. As a professional journalist how should you act to prove to the world you were the right one and Azerbaijan falsifies the reality?

– That’s happening a lot around the world. I think that’s something the journalists should be very aware of. Journalists should try to make sure the work they conduct is fairer and not be deceived by people who are trying to cheat on reporting. I am very aware that I have seen one side of the conflict, I have seen the war from the Armenian side, they (the Armenian side) are being hit by the shells, which is tragic. Civilians should never be targeted in conflicts. Civilians are being killed on both sides as a result of a conflict, which should not be so. I know it’s a nature of war, I think it’s a real tragedy if it goes on, it should come to a peaceful solution, both sides need to sit down and adhere to a truce and a ceasefire and try to come up to a conclusion that killing people is never a solution.