Law 15:58 26/11/2020 Armenia

Numerous Armenian historical and cultural monuments destroyed, damaged or desecrated by Azeri military

Numerous historical and cultural monuments were destroyed, damaged or desecrated by the Azerbaijani armed forces during the aggressive war unleashed against Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and after the ceasefire established, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Armenia said in a statement on Thursday. Below is the full text of the statement.

"The military and political leadership of the Republic of Azerbaijan, violating tripartite agreement entered into force on May 12, 1994, the sanction approved by the UN General Assembly Resolution XXIX on aggressive military actions, the Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of  War, as well as the application of customary international humanitarian law by using prohibited means and methods in time of war, by motives of national hatred, by putting at danger lives of many, by illegally killing two or more people, civilian persons of the peaceful settlements of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh, deliberately targeting with attacks, intentionally exploding property, humanitarian and cultural objects.

Within that framework, both in the course of active military operations and after the ceasefire agreement between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia signed on November 9, the representatives of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan has deliberately targeted Armenian historical and cultural monuments, objects of special historical or cultural value, destroying, damaging or desecrating them.

In particular, factual information was received that during the period from September 27 to November 9, 2020, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan, by regularly targeting artillery shells, damaged Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shushi city, Azerbaijan, as well as later desecrated the church with various inscriptions on exterior and interior walls.

Besides, other historical and cultural monuments, in particular, the monument devoted to the victims of the Great Patriotic War in the village Avetaranots, the cross-stones placed in different settlements of the Republic of Artsakh, the graves of Armenian soldiers and the monuments devoted to them became victim of such "behavior" of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

After the adoption of the above-mentioned tripartite declaration of the ceasefire, the dome and the bell tower of the "Green church" or St. Hovhannes Mkrtich church located in the city of Shushi were destroyed by the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

According to the video appeared on the internet on November 16, 2020, the servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan desecrated and damaged the church of Zoravor St. Astvatsatsin located in Mekhakavan settlement /Jabrahil/ of the Republic of Artzakh, breaking the cross of the church.

According to a photo appeared on the internet on the same day, a serviceman of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan desecrated the monument of Commander Vazgen Sargsyan sitting on it.

The mentioned circumstances were investigated under Article 384, Part 2, Article 390, Part 3, Points 1 and 2, Article 391, Part 3, Article 387, Part 1, Article 104, Part 2, Points 1, 6, 7 and 13, Article 34-104, Part 2, Points 1, 6 and 7 of the RA Criminal Code and Article 185, Part 3, Points 1 and 2 of the Armenian Criminal Code and within the framework of criminal cases.

The above-mentioned data obtained in the course of the preliminary investigation are checked according to a proper legal procedure, other investigative and judicial actions are undertaken, operative and investigative measures are undertaken to collect facts of other similar cases in order to reveal all the circumstances of the mentioned cases regarding destroying historical and cultural monuments, detecting the perpetrators, giving full criminal assessment to such acts typical of war crimes and solving the issue of criminal responsibility of the perpetrators.

The Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Armenia also undertakes measures to draw the attention of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and other international organizations engaged in the protection of cultural values to assess the above-mentioned criminal acts, to prevent the possible destruction and damage of other structures as well as to undertake measures in order to protect and use effective protection mechanisms for preventing the further destroying and damaging of the monuments and objects of Armenian historical and cultural monuments in the territories of the Republic of Artsakh, which came under the Republic of Azerbaijan. "

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