According to some sources, in the early 90s, Deghati, hearing that "the Armenians are killing the Azerbaijanis" and remembering about his ethnic roots, arrived in Azerbaijan.
We are leaving aside the fact that in the January of 1990 in Azerbaijan the Armenians were not "killing the Azerbaijanis," on the contrary, they themselves became victims of pogroms of Armenians that continued for a week – from January 13 to 19. Many years have passed since then and those events could tangle in the distinguished photographer's memory. Meanwhile, those memories – emotional, with patriotic piety and prepared clichés – abound in flaws and mismatches.
The story says that on arriving in Azerbaijan in the January of 1990 he was met by "then Azerbaijani Ambassador to UNESCO in Paris Elnura Huseynova." The question is that Azerbaijan was a member of the USSR (he got his visa in Moscow) and did not have a representative in UNESCO. Azerbaijan began an autonomous cooperation with that organization on June 3, 1992, that is, two years after the mentioned arrival in Baku. Besides, the name of the Azerbaijani Ambassador to UNESCO was not Elnura, but Eleonora.
The aforementioned only demonstrates how much strong Mr Deghati's memory is.
Further, he tells about the "crafty" trick of Russians who deceived the journalists and sent them to Yerevan instead of Baku. Given the fact that in the January of 1990 there was nothing in Yerevan to interest the journalists and the respectable photographer did not mention any names, this assertion can also be freely rated as dubious. The "interesting" events were happening in Nagorno-Karabakh, where Operation Ring – deportation of Armenians by the USSR troops and Azerbaijani OMON – was in full swing, but "Russians" would hardly send journalists there.
And, finally, in 1992, as he himself asserts, he arrived in Azerbaijan, on February 28-29, because of the "Khojaly genocide."
Quotation: "So… Together with that team I arrived in Aghdam, where people, who had managed to save themselves from the atrocities of the Armenians in Khojaly, gathered. At that time, the Red Cross Society negotiated with the Armenians to return the dead bodies. <…> I took some photos when we exchanged captives on Aghdam-Khojaly border. <…> At that time, one of the Armenian soldiers showed me a teaspoon taking it out of his pocket. I asked why he needed that. The soldier stated that they used it to gouge out the Azerbaijani captives' eyes."
It is very important to note that he is not only a journalist, but a photographer, that is, a person who carries with him all the necessary equipment to capture the historical events on the spot.
So, Reza Deghati puts forward four points he witnessed:
1) He met with Khojaly survivors,
2) He himself took photos,
3) Red Cross Society conducted negotiations,
4) Soldier with a silver teaspoon for "gouging out eyes."
First, the Armenian side itself transferred the "people from Khojaly" to Azerbaijan without preconditions two days later. And this is not the Red Cross Society's merit; the reason was commonplace and simple: it was impossible to keep them in a country undergoing famine because of blockade.
Second, the sources and archives titled "Azerbaijan," from Deghati's exhibitions, including his website and other propaganda resources, have been studied. Everywhere a few photos taken in Aghdam are featured as 'khojaly' photo evidence that depict living, healthy people, without any trace of atrocities and tortures. Several sobbing women, an old woman at the mosque in Aghdam, mourning over a man's body in the mosque, and that is all. It is quite strange that a professional photographer, who witnessed "atrocities and horrors," did not take any photo of the victims of "khojaly" and of "the executioner with a silver spoon."
Further, Deghati organized an exhibition titled "Parole de liberté" demonstrating the "horrors of khojaly" at Paris metro station Luxemburg in 2010.
Quotation: "Then I returned to Paris from Shushi. I again spread photos of Karabakh war and Khojaly genocide all around the world."
Below is the stand from that exhibition.
Then Deghati organized an exhibition in the streets of Paris, and the result was the same.
To tell the truth, we expected to see, at last, the "horrors" captured by the famous photographer. But, alas…
Out of 21 published photos, 15 showed scenes with living crying people, something which is natural for wartime, including men in transport, apparently refugees from Khojaly. Three photos feature graves. It is unknown who those people are, but judging by the headstone, it is a man at the age when he was supposed to fight and he was far from being a civilian and, especially, a "genocide victim." Another three photos feature dead bodies. The corpses are those of adult mature men who can in no way be ranked as civilians. It is noteworthy that one of them is in a striped vest that is given to servicemen.
There are no victims of the "silver spoon," again. Be as it may, it is strange that the photographer claims having "seen" it, yet he does not show a single photo. He does not remember the people he met, or their names, and confuses the events of 1990 and 1992.
The question remains: "How can one trust biased witnesses?"