December 05
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The video disseminated on social media since Sunday, in which footage of the shooting of Armenian prisoners of war to death by Azerbaijan was seen, was made at a combat position of Ishkhanasar village of Armenia. Armenian has learned about this from lawyer Siranush Sahakyan, the representative of the Armenian detainees’ interests at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Sahakyan said that two of the servicemen have been identified.

"The video has been studied, verified; it is real. The incident took place at Ishkhanasar on September 13, with the involvement of Azerbaijani soldiers. It is the ‘Commando’ newly created unit, which is being retrained by Turkey, and certain support is, of course, being provided as a NATO member country. And the units being retrained plan and carry out war crimes against Armenians, and, naturally, they are encouraged for these actions," said Sahakyan.

She noted that nine Armenian servicemen can be seen at the beginning of that video of the shooting.

"After which the shooting of the four to death is clearly shown. The unit has been identified. It is still continuing to find out which of the four people are seen who were being shot to death. Other Armenians can be seen in the video. Apparently, the other servicemen, whose shooting to death is not visible, were also killed. The location has been identified, the names of the [Armenian] servicemen serving in that location are known. But work is still being done as to who the soldiers being shot to death are," she said.

According to Sahakyan, this is not the first such video, and there were such videos of both individual and group shootings also during the 44-day Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) war in the fall of 2020.

"The response has been internationally inadequate, it did not arise from the situation. Not all opportunities, which are currently being used in the case of Ukraine, are being used. Azerbaijan's behavior has been silently sponsored—and this gives rise to new crimes," she said.

And when asked why Armenia does not apply to the International Criminal Court regarding this incident, Sahakyan responded: "The ECtHR discusses issues of state accountability, whereas the International Criminal Court deals with the criminal accountability of individuals. In order to be able to petition to the Criminal Court, there must be a political decision to recognize the jurisdiction of the court in a specific case. At the moment, Armenia does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, and therefore the court cannot examine cases of crimes committed on the territory of Armenia. In connection with the incident, it should be decided that they are authorized to investigate, then as a result of the investigation, they will identify the involved persons and apply accountability to the persons. They will take people to court, whereas at the European Court we have the state as a defendant, which violates international human rights and humanitarian obligations, and the state is collectively held accountable. In the case of the Criminal Court, the involved persons and their commanding staff may be imprisoned and held accountable."

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