Azerbaijan's MFA official responds Armenian Foreign Ministry

Aykhan Hajizada, head of the Press Service Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan

© APA | Aykhan Hajizada, head of the Press Service Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan

# 12 February 2023 11:59 (UTC +04:00)

Aykhan Hajizada, head of the Press Service Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, answered the questions of local media representatives, APA reports.

Question: Press secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Vahan Hunanyan, referring to the letter of the special mandate holders of the UN Human Rights Council regarding Azerbaijan, made a statement that Azerbaijan allegedly ignored the mentioned appeal and that the cases of war crimes allegedly committed by our armed forces were not clarified. What do you think about this statement?

Answer: This statement by the Armenian side is another example of the hypocrisy of a country that has been pursuing an aggressive policy for decades, trampled on the fundamental rights of nearly one million Azerbaijanis, committed numerous war crimes and mass massacres against military and civilian persons. Unfortunately, for this purpose, Armenia is now abusing the human rights mechanisms of the UN, including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, treaty bodies and mandate holders, and exposing them to false propaganda.

The Armenian side is misusing the next request of the UN mandate holders to Azerbaijan in a distorted way, it aims to cover up the war crimes committed by Armenia against Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis and distract the attention of the international community.

It should be noted that Azerbaijan has always taken its international obligations seriously, and in this context, it is faithful to its obligations arising from international conventions and international humanitarian law.

Unlike Armenia, Azerbaijan investigates some allegations of violation of the requirements of international humanitarian law during military operations and responds to related inquiries within the framework of its international obligations. In September last year, when Armenia's provocation was prevented, within the framework of military operations, the Military Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Azerbaijan launched comprehensive investigations to determine whether the videos spread on social networks are genuine, as well as the time and place where the images in the videos were taken, the identity of the military personnel depicted in them, as well as the objective truth. declared and presented relevant information about it, including the mandate holders of the UN. In this context, work is currently ongoing.

For nearly 30 years, the Armenian side abused the process of political and legal settlement of the past conflict, as well as Azerbaijan's commitment to this process, for its own purposes, both during the occupation, during the 2020 Patriotic War, and through various provocations during the post-conflict period. He has committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, amounting to serious war crimes and crimes against humanity against the civilian population of Azerbaijan, women and children.

There are many irrefutable facts that Armenian soldiers violated the rights of Azerbaijani prisoners, including humiliating and indecent treatment, using physical force against them, and mistreatment of corpses. We remind that the armed forces of Armenia killed 613 civilians in the city of Khojaly in one night on February 26, 1992, and Armenia has not provided any information about the fate of more than 3,800 missing and captive Azerbaijanis. In October 2020, crimes against humanity were committed by targeting the civilian population of the cities of Ganja, Barda, and Mingachevir in Azerbaijan, documented by international NGOs.

The Armenian government has not taken any practical measures to prevent the committed war crimes or bring the relevant persons to justice for the committed crimes and has not expressed its intention to do so. The non-opening of criminal cases by Armenia was also mentioned in the report of many international organizations and the special rapporteur of the Council of Europe.

Taking into account the above, we strongly condemn Armenia's attempts to mislead the international community and hide its responsibility by spreading baseless claims.

We demand that Armenia comply with its international obligations and that the persons responsible for numerous war crimes are held accountable before the law.