Naira Karapetyan, a member of the National Assembly (NA) of Armenia Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), on Tuesday delivered an address during the PACE spring session.
In her remarks, she condemned Azerbaijan’s most recent aggression against Armenian civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), and presented facts attesting to Azerbaijan’s torturing of Armenian soldiers and its war crimes.
“Aside from the acts of use force contrary to the UN Charter, constituting act of Aggression, the Azerbaijani army has also carried out heavy artillery bombing on civilians and civilian objects, including using cluster ammunition and other non-discriminatory weapons,” Karapetyan stated. “12-year-old child was killed and two other schoolchildren were wounded heavily in the shelling by MM-21 Grad MLRS, launched by Azerbaijani forces. Two other children, 12-year-old Vardan Andreasyan and 11-year-old Gevorg Grigoryan, were wounded heavily when a school was bombarded by Azerbaijan.
“And this is not the only act of violence against civilian population during the four-day war, as it is called in Karabakh. After temporal overturn of Talish village by Azerbaijani armed forces, elderly couple was shot at home with their ears being cut off. Azerbaijani soldiers also executed 92-year-old old woman. All the killed persons were aged and reasonably infirm.
“Moreover, the servicemen of Nagorno-Karabakh Defence Army, Kyaram Sloyan, Hayk Toroyan, Hrant Gharibyan were beheaded by Azerbaijani troops. Numerous photos in social network is a real evidence of cruel treatment of Azerbaijani soldiers posing with the head of Kyaram Sloyan as a trophy. Later the head was transferred to local Azerbaijani population demonstrating it as an Armenian symbol encouraging hatred and aggression towards Armenians. No action by official Baku has followed to punish the guilty. And by doing so Azerbaijan once more violets numerous international treaties.
“Another episode includes torture of Prisoners of War and mutilation of bodies of 18 dead Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army soldiers, handed over to Nagorno-Karabakh authorities in presence of the representatives of the ICRC a week after the hostilities.
“Yes, dear colleagues, Azerbaijan calls himself a Land of fire, and it is pure true. This is not a fire of life, of peace and democracy, but the fire of war, fire of horror, fire of death.
“I strongly blame Azerbaijan’s escalation of hostilities against Nagorno-Karabakh. The Azerbaijani forces and armed militants have committed multiple terrorist acts against the Nagorno-Karabakh troops and the civilian population, which are defined as war crimes and crimes against humanity under the international law.
“[Azerbaijan] President [Ilham] Aliyev continues defying international calls to reach a negotiated settlement that will ensure a lasting peace in the region.
“The true victims of this policy are the people of Artsakh who simply want to live free, in peaceful environment, in a country where human rights and democracy are real values, and exercise their right to live, liberty and pursue to happiness!
“This is not a conflict for territory, but a cardinal principle of international law of nations right to self-determination.”