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June 19 2018 | 7:00am AET

Azerbaijan’s actions amount to war crimes, says defense minister

Source: Asbarez | Thursday, 07 April 2016
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YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—The military actions launched by Azerbaijan during recent days amount to war crimes, Armenia’s Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian said on Wednesday during a cabinet meeting.

“The military actions launched by Azerbaijan are unprecedented not only after the 1994 ceasefire, but also in comparison with the first Artsakh War because of several factors,” said Ohanian. “The actions were unprecedented first of all for the intensity of firing, the types of weapons and military equipment used, the number of troops involved and the great number of losses.”

Saying that Azerbaijani casualties greatly exceeded those of Armenians, Ohanian highlighted the high combat readiness of the conflicting parties, and the fact of terrorists fighting on the Azerbaijani side at different sections of the line of contact and their aggressive actions.

Ohanian said, however, that Azerbaijan achieved nothing as a result and refuted Azerbaijani reports, which claim that Azeris had seized several Armenian territories.

“Talish and Nor Seysulan villages are under Karabakh control,” stressed Ohanian, who said that the actions by Azerbaijanis, including torture, dismemberment and decapitation amounted to war crimes.

On that note, Armenia’s Justice Minister Arpine Hovhannisyan told parliament Wednesday that the Armenian government was investigating the brutal violence carried out in recent days against Armenians.

From her perspective, there was ample evidence to present the matter at the International Criminal Court from the standpoint of international laws governing human rights. She also explained the while Armenia has signed, but not ratified, the Rome Convention [on war crimes], there are mechanisms inherent in that convention that warrant discussion, vis-à-vis Azerbaijan’s use of brutal force against the people of Karabakh.

The justice minister said that Azerbaijan’s blatant and brutal attacks on the civilian population of Artsakh can be deemed violations of several conventions, including provisions of the Geneva Convention related to the Protection of Civilian Persons in time of war. She stressed that both Armenia and Azerbaijan were signatories to the said convention and that the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic had unilaterally decided to adopt its provisions within the workings of its mechanisms.

She also cited the Hague Convention, which aims to eliminate racial discrimination, bringing as an example the brutal murder and dismemberment of an elderly couple in Talish in the Martakert district.

Hovhannisyan said that all necessary steps would be taken to ensure justice for these crims.





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