Twitter suspended but later restored the account of Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov on Wednesday, without providing a reason. According to the microblogging site’s rules, the company aims to serve the public conversation.
“Violence, harassment and other similar types of behavior discourage people from expressing themselves and ultimately diminish the value of global public conversation. “Our rules are to ensure all people can participate in the public conversation freely and safely,” it said on its website.
The move sparked anger among Twitter users, with many slamming the company, saying a top diplomat’s account cannot be suspended without justification. One user called the suspension “an exceptional mistake.”
“I get that you are no longer verifying accounts in the region for some reasons but suspending Foreign Minister’s account in war time is an exceptional mistake,” said the user. Another user addressed the company’s CEO Jack Dorsey, questioning the move.
Hey @jack and @Twitter @TwitterSupport team! You've suspended Azerbaijan FM's account. I get that you are no longer verifying accounts in the region for some reasons but suspending Foreign Minister's account in war time is an exceptional mistake. @bayramov_jeyhun pic.twitter.com/rQj8BA3geb— mənDroid 🚀 (@wilk3ns) November 4, 2020
“What’s going on, @Twitter, @jack? Why has the official account of the MFA of the Republic of Azerbaijan @bayramov_jeyhun been suspended?”
The move came amid an ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Upper Karabakh region, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh.
Since clashes erupted on Sept. 27, Armenia has repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces, even violating three humanitarian cease-fires since Oct. 10.
While world powers have called for a sustainable cease-fire, Turkey has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.
Multiple UN resolutions also call for the withdrawal of the invading forces.
The UN rights chief has decried ongoing “indiscriminate” attacks on civilian areas during fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, warning Armenia and Azerbaijan that such attacks could amount to “war crimes”.
She also voiced concern about “compelling” and “deeply disturbing” video images appearing to show Azerbaijani troops executing two captured Armenian soldiers.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet pointed out that she and others had called on the parties to “take all feasible steps to avoid, or at the very least minimize, the loss of civilian life and damage to civilian infrastructure.”
“Instead, homes have been destroyed, streets reduced to rubble, and people forced to flee or seek safety in basements,” she lamented in a statement. “International humanitarian law cannot be clearer,” she stressed. “Attacks carried out in violation of the principle of distinction or the principle of proportionality may amount to war crimes.”
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk