Armenian News - NEWS.am presents the latest news on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as of 19.10.2020:
SITUATION IN GENERAL
The situation in the Artsakh-Azerbaijani conflict zone was generally relatively stable and tense in the night, and artillery battles continued in some areas, the Artsakh Defense Army reported Monday morning.
In the morning, despite the agreement on a humanitarian ceasefire, Azerbaijani forces resumed artillery shelling in the northern and southern directions. Battles were Monday noon underway in a number of areas. They are especially heavy in the south.
The Human Rights Defender received an alarming call certifying that Azerbaijani military forces beheaded an Armenian soldier several days ago.
On 16 October, at around 1PM a member of the Azerbaijani armed forces called the brother of an Armenian soldier and said that his brother is with them; they beheaded him. Afterwards, several hours later, the brother found the photo on his killed brother’s social media page. These were members of Azerbaijani army who posted the Armenian solder’s photo.
There were two phone calls with Azerbaijani soldiers who used hate speech with an intention to humiliate the Armenian killed soldier’s brother. As the latter informed the Human Rights Defender, the calls were made from the Armenian soldier’s phone number.
All data is duly documented and will be presented to relevant international bodies.
ARMENIAN POW IN AZERBAIJAN
The Armenian side confirms the information about the third Armenian POW, Albert Mikayelyan, who was taken prisoner by Azerbaijan. Laywer Siranush Sahakyan told NEWS.am that Mikayelyan's family members had recognized him. She added they are going to file a complaint with the ECHR, asking the latter to use an urgent measure to oblige the Azerbaijani government to ensure the inviolability of Albert Mikayelyan's life and his right to health—as it had done in the case of the other two POWs.
Karabakh Defense Army published Sunday new lists of soldiers who died in battles while repulsing the Azerbaijani aggression. The list includes 77 names. Thus, the total number of combat losses as of Monday noon reached 721.
According to the Office of the Artsakh Ombudsman, as of October 16, a total of 36 civilians were killed and about 115 people were injured. Azerbaijan has also attacked over 130 Karabakh civilian settlements since September 27, destroying or damaging numerous infrastructure facilities and private property.
APPEAL TO ECHR
Armenia applied Sunday to the ECHR asking to expand the scope of its interim decision and to extend it not only to civilians, but also to POWs. Yeghishe Kirakosyan, Armenia's representative before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), stated about this at a briefing on Monday.
Earlier, Armenia had applied to the ECHR asking for an interim decision on Azerbaijan, which has carried out aggression against Artsakh. Then Armenia initiated the decision to extend it to Turkey—as an accomplice of Azerbaijan. Despite Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu's personal letter to the ECHR requesting not to extend this decision to Turkey, too, this request was denied.
The Armenian MFA has issued statements amid the gross violation of the declared humanitarian truce by Azerbaijan.
According to one of the statements, 'this is the second time Azerbaijan has violated the ceasefire agreement reached as a result of the personal mediation of the head of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair country.'
For three weeks now, Azerbaijan has been brutally shelling cities and villages in Artsakh, targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, resulting in dozens of civilian casualties and forcing them to flee their homeland, the MFA noted. The current aggression was preceded by provocative campaigns of Azerbaijani disinformation, including the campaign on the artillery shelling of the city of Ganja by the Armenians.
"The EU has not yet been able to clearly and unequivocally respond to all these war crimes committed by Azerbaijan," the statement noted. "Armenia condemns this unilateral and biased statement."
Armenia has also made a statement on the Azerbaijani rejection of the mediation attempt of ICRC. According to it, after the sides reached a ceasefire agreement, an attempt was made to reach a deal to withdraw the wounded soldiers from the battlefield, however, this step was categorically rejected by Baku.
A protest took place Monday in front of the US Embassy in Armenia. Its participants demanded the US leadership abandon the ostrich policy and clearly condemn Azerbaijani aggression.
One of the protesters told reporters that the US Embassy in Yerevan is going to deliver a report and inform Washington on the current situation in Artsakh.
In the meantime, US President Donald Trump on Sunday talked about Armenians at his presidential election rally in Carson City, Nevada.
“Armenians, they’re good people. They’re great business people, too, you know. (…). Where I just left there were so many Armenians with a beautiful flag. We’re working on something. (…). You have great spirit in you country, I have to tell you. People from Armenia, they have great spirit for their country,” Trump said.