Nagorno Karabakh: Both Sides Committed War Crimes

by akoloy

Soldiers combating for Azerbaijan and Armenia, the 2 international locations concerned within the battle over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh, have dedicated a litany of struggle crimes, in line with Amnesty International.

The human rights group analyzed 22 movies, shot by unknown onlookers, which they are saying present civilians being decapitated, corpses being desecrated and prisoners of struggle abused within the small enclave within the southern Caucasus mountains.

Amnesty International’s Dec. 10 launch of the outcomes of the investigation by its Crisis Evidence Lab comes on the identical day Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended a “victory parade” in Baku with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. Armenia and Azerbaijan had resumed fighting Europe’s oldest frozen war on Sept. 27, with Turkey brazenly backing Azerbaijan. A Russia-brokered ceasefire that ended the combating on Nov. 9 requires Armenia to withdraw its forces from the breakaway territory, which had been underneath its de-facto management since 1994.

The settlement got here after a string of Azerbaijani victories within the battle zone and was described by Aliyev as “total capitulation” on the a part of the opposing aspect. Its signing provoked protests in Armenia’s capital Yerevan and requires Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to resign.

Read extra: Scenes from Behind the Frontlines of Europe’s Oldest ‘Frozen War’ in Nagorno-Karabakh

The movies analyzed by Amnesty had been shared on non-public Telegram accounts and teams throughout the final three weeks and depicted obvious struggle crimes dedicated on each side within the battle. “Members of the military on both sides have behaved horrendously, displaying a complete disregard for the rules of war,” Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia said in a press release describing the videos’ contents. “The depravity and lack of humanity captured in these videos shows the deliberate intention to cause ultimate harm and humiliation to victims, in clear violation of international humanitarian law.”

Among the footage Amnesty analyzed, one video reveals a person in an Azerbaijani navy uniform decapitating a shirtless Armenian civilian earlier than a clapping crowd. A second video of the identical incident reveals the pinnacle of the sufferer positioned on the close by carcass of a pig. “This is how we get revenge—by cutting heads,” one of many males in attendance may be heard saying in Azerbaijani, calling the extrajudicial killing an act of revenge for “the blood of our martyrs.”

Another video confirmed an Armenian-speaking man sticking a knife into the throat of a gagged and sure man carrying an Azerbaijani border patrol uniform. The captive, who was reported lifeless by Azerbaijani media, would have died inside minutes because of the stabbing, unbiased pathologists confirmed to Amnesty.

Krivosheev known as on each side to launch unbiased investigations into the struggle crimes and maintain the perpetrators accountable. Amnesty says it has authenticated all 22 movies and carried out technical checks that affirm the recordsdata haven’t been manipulated. Azerbaijan’s prosecutor basic mentioned on Dec. 8 that his workplace was investigating allegations of human rights abuses dedicated by each Armenian and Azerbaijani forces, Britain’s Telegraph reports.

The batch of movies analyzed by Amnesty is just the newest proof of struggle crimes to be documented in relation to the South Caucasus battle. On Oct. 28, Armenian forces both fired or provided internationally banned cluster bombs for an assault on the Azerbaijani metropolis of Barda, which together with different munitions killed no less than 21 civilians according to Human Rights Watch. The monitor says that Azerbaijan repeatedly used banned cluster munitions—which scatter tiny bomblets over a large space—in residential areas of Nagorno Karabakh.

Armenia, Russia, and France have accused Turkey of sending Syrian mercenaries to struggle on behalf of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan and Turkey deny that accusation, regardless of considerable photo and video evidence to the contrary, and have alleged that Armenia has employed international mercenaries.

The United Nations Human Rights Office has called for the withdrawal of all mercenaries from in and across the Nagorno-Karabakh battle zone, noting that Azerbaijan is a signatory of the International Convention in opposition to the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries.

Write to Joseph Hincks at [email protected].

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