By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijan will take all measures to bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes against Azerbaijanis committed during the First Karabakh War in the early 1990s and the 44-day Second Karabakh War in 2020, Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov has said.
Bayramov made the remarks in an address to the High-Level Segment of the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which was posted on the website of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry on February 22.
“2021 has been proclaimed as the International Year of Peace and Trust by the relevant UNGA [UN General Assebly] resolution. This year will also be remarkable for Azerbaijan since it enters into the post-conflict recovery and rehabilitation phase following the liberation of its territories from almost 30-year-old occupation… Series of grave crimes have been committed by Armenia against the civilian population of Azerbaijan, as well as its cultural heritage and infrastructure throughout the years of occupation… Azerbaijan is determined to take all measures stemming from its rights under relevant bilateral and multilateral mechanisms to bring the perpetrators of those crimes to justice,” Bayramov said.
Grave rights violations
The minister said that the recent aggression by Armenia which started on 27 September against Azerbaijan was “accompanied by grave violations of international humanitarian law tantamount to war crimes and crimes against humanity in order to seed the panic among the civilian population of Azerbaijan. For this purpose, Armenia deliberately attacked the densely populated civilian settlements of Azerbaijan located far from the conflict zone, as a result of which 101 civilians were killed more than 400 seriously injured. There have also been undeniable facts depicting a number of human rights violations by Armenian servicemen against Azerbaijani captives, including acts of humiliation and ill-treatment, such as physical assault, verbal abuse, executions through beheadings, and ill-treatment of dead bodies”.
Bayramov added that Armenia in an open attempt to cover-up its above-mentioned wrongdoings brazenly accuses Azerbaijan of the same with a view to diverting the attention of the international community, and to that end carries out a massive campaign of fake news. UN human rights mechanisms, including the OHCHR, treaty bodies and mandate-holders have also been subjected by Armenia to its fake propaganda.
He stressed that having exploited the political settlement process, as well as Azerbaijan’s commitment to this process for almost 30 years, Armenia took consistent steps to consolidate the results of occupation of territories of Azerbaijan aiming at their annexation. This included, among others, implantation of settlers into the occupied territories, destruction, pillage and looting of historical and cultural heritage, illegal exploitation of natural resources, misappropriation of private and public property in the seized lands.
The minister noted that the de-occupation of territories of Azerbaijan paves the way for hundreds of thousands of displaced persons to exercise their right to safe and dignified return to their places of origin.
“Yet, the unprecedented magnitude of destruction of public and private property, critical civilian infrastructure, including educational and medical facilities, as well as historical and cultural heritage and the environment in the conflict-affected territories places a huge task ahead of the Government of Azerbaijan in terms of rehabilitation and reconstruction of these territories. The Government has already initiated practical steps in order to enable the safe and dignified return of the displaced population and ensure peaceful co-existence within the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” he underlined.
Bayramov said that sustaining peace, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities, providing humanitarian assistance to…