Armenia's war crimes must be investigated, perpetrators, executors must be punished - Israeli expert

The war crimes of Armenia [against Azerbaijan] must be investigated, and the perpetrators and executors of these crimes must be punished, Israeli jurisprudence expert Natavan Rashidova Katzman told, commenting on the gross violations of the humanitarian truce by Armenia.

Following almost two weeks of intensive military confrontations, on Oct. 10 Armenia and Azerbaijan, with Russia's mediation, have agreed on a temporary ceasefire for humanitarian purposes, for exchange of prisoners of war as well as bodies of the dead. Despite the agreement, Armenia continues to violate the ceasefire regime in the direction of occupied Azerbaijani lands.

“Armenia continues to violate the international law, openly engaging in terrorism even after the announcement of a humanitarian truce, which, as we see, once again turned into an Armenian lie and a demonstration of disrespect for Russia and Azerbaijan,” Katzman said.

According to the expert, shelling the civilian population of Ganja by order of the Armenian leadership is a war crime of Armenia against humanity. She believes that this is another gross violation of international law by Armenia.

“This inhuman aggression of Armenian terrorists, flared up with renewed vigor from despair and defeat on the battlefield, is aimed at the civilian population in order to intimidate Azerbaijan people,” she said.

“This criminal strategy is openly stated by the Armenian military leaders. In addition to the existing direct evidence of war crimes in Armenia and numerous evidences of terrorist acts by the Armenian regime, there is also the recognition of the criminals themselves of what they had done," the expert said.

"Armenian military leaders do not hesitate to openly give interviews, explaining the purpose of attacking the civilian population of Azerbaijan to intimidate the people. But, with Azerbaijani people, it is impossible. On the contrary, the people of Azerbaijan rallied more than ever, and are confident in victory. And the terrorist acts of the Armenians only add oil to the cauldron of the people's anger against the Armenian aggressors.”

According to the IV Geneva Convention and the Additional Protocols adopted in 1977, it is strictly forbidden to target the civilian population, as well as to strike at important objects of life support of the civilian population and energy infrastructure, facilities and transport networks.

Katzman also noted that it is necessary to punish the aggressor by attracting international organizations to get acquainted with the situation, submitting petitions and lawsuits to the relevant international tribunals, demands to impose sanctions on the aggressor, coercion to pay compensation to victims of terrorist attacks, personal criminal prosecutions of those who give orders to commit war crimes, as well as the commanders responsible for these crimes.

“It is necessary to ensure the safety of the inhabitants of all of Azerbaijan, including the liberated territories and territories adjacent to them, taking preventive measures in order to defend themselves and prevent any attempts of terrorist attacks, using the state's right to self-defense correctly. This fundamental right of any state is enshrined in the UN Charter and is successfully used by the leading countries of the world to protect their country and its civilian population from attacks (including the planned ones) from another state,” the expert said.

The list of prohibited weapons is extensive and the Armenians is a gross violation of the bans on the use of such weapons. Armenia uses prohibited weapons and ammunition, including ballistic missiles and cluster bombs. The use of explosive ammunition weighing up to 400 grams is also prohibited, as well as the use of anti-personnel mines, etc.

“In addition, the Armenian military leadership, being in a panic, attacks with indiscriminate weapons, launching missiles indiscriminately into peaceful sleeping areas of cities. The use of such weapons is limited by Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions,” Katzman added.

Armenian Armed Forces launched a large-scale military attack on positions of Azerbaijani army on the front line, using large-caliber weapons, mortars and artillery on Sept. 27. Azerbaijan responded with a counter-offensive along the entire front. As a result of retaliation, Azerbaijani troops liberated a number of territories previously occupied by Armenia, as well as take important, strategic heights under control.

The fighting continued into October 2020, in the early days of which Armenia launched missile attacks on Azerbaijani cities of Ganja, Mingachevir, Khizi as well as Absheron district.

On October 6th, at about 9 pm (GMT+4), Armenian Armed Forces launched missiles at Azerbaijani Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the largest strategic project in the region, which plays an important role in Europe's energy security. Azerbaijani army was able to disable the missiles in the air, so no damage was done to the pipeline.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

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