IPHR: War crimes were committed during the 44-day war
The international organization released a report detailing documented crimes.
"There is evidence that the Azerbaijani and Armenian armed forces committed war crimes during the 44-day war around the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region."
This is stated in IPHR and Truth Hounds and Global Diligence LLP's report on the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War.
According to the report, both Azerbaijan and Armenia tortured and executed military and civilian prisoners of war:
“Our field investigators found evidence that Azerbaijani forces tortured and executed prisoners of war and captive Armenian civilians, and that Armenia/Nagorno-Karabakh forces tortured Azerbaijani prisoners of war, executed wounded combatants and mutilated the bodies of dead Azerbaijani soldiers,” IPHR Director Brigitte Dufour was quoted as saying.
Dufour says that unless the perpetrators are brought to justice, peace will not come to the region.
Before preparing the report, the staff visited Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, a conflict zone, from October to December 2020 and met with witnesses.
“Ignoring the atrocities detailed in our report would give European Partnership countries carte blanche to wage war without respecting the Geneva Conventions,” Dufour said, and called on the Minsk Group to establish an independent body to investigate and prosecute war crimes perpetrators.
In the report, the organizations cited some examples from the events they watched. It is reported that in one incident, Azerbaijani security forces stripped an Armenian prisoner naked and beat him with batons before taking him to the state security prison. He was later tortured further.
The report also noted the use of SCUD missles by Armenian forces on teh city of Ganja which resulted in 13 civilian deaths and over 50 injuries.
The report said armed forces on both sides deliberately opened fire on civilians with heavy artillery or air support. In some cases, they killed all members of a family.
The report says that the international community cannot allow these events to take place without sanctions.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have previously reported on war crimes during the 44-day conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The Karabakh conflict began in 1988 at a new stage with Armenia's territorial claims to Azerbaijan.
Prior to the 1994 ceasefire agreement (the First Karabakh War), the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and 7 adjacent regions were occupied.
The UN adopted four resolutions recognizing the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenian forces in 1993, but these resolutions have not been implemented.
The region of Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, was declared independent by ethnic Armenians living there as the Soviet Union collapsed. An estimated 30,000 were killed when the conflict turned into a full-fledged war,. A ceasefire signed in 1994 under the auspices of Moscow put a fragile end to a large-scale conflict. Peace talks mediated by France, US and Russia were unsuccessful and in 2020, war broke out again.
As a result of this 44-day war and the subsequent agreement, Azerbaijan regained control of part of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions.
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