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February 28
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The international organization for the protection of the Caucasian heritage, Caucasus Heritage Watch (CHW), published a warning about the destruction of the Armenian church in the Hadrut region of the occupied Artsakh, which documents the violation of the decision of the International Court of Justice of the United Nations.

In the summer of 2022, Caucasus Heritage Watch recorded the almost complete destruction of Mokhrenes village in Hadrut region, which passed under the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan after the 2020 44-day Artsakh war. Among the destroyed structures was also the Saint Sargis Armenian Church of Mokhrenes, which was built in the 18-19 centuries. It was constructed in the 18th or 19th centuries, repurposed in the Soviet years, then revived as a church in the 1990s and remained in active use until Armenians evacuated Mokhrenes.

However, as mentioned in the publication, the demolition of the Saint Sargis Church was apparently not the last step in terms of Azerbaijani intervention, as the organization documented evidence of further construction works during its ongoing monitoring.

The organization reminds that Azerbaijan is obligated to protect Armenian cultural heritage and prevent any effort to erase the centuries of Armenian cultural and religious life in Mokhrenes.

“The destruction of St. Sargis of Mokhrenes in 2022 was the first documented violation of the interim order indicated by the International Court of Justice in December 2021,” CHW writes.

According to the organization, that "provisional measure", arising from the ongoing case Armenia v. Azerbaijan, ordered Azerbaijan to “take all necessary measures to prevent and punish acts of vandalism and desecration affecting Armenian cultural heritage, including but not limited to churches and other places of worship, monuments, landmarks, cemeteries and artifacts.”

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