Int'l fact-finding mission in Aghdam to investigate Armenian crimes [PHOTO]
By Vafa Ismayilova
The international fact-finding mission represented by the OIC Ombudsmen Association delegation members and Azerbaijan's human rights commissioner have inspected the Armenian-destroyed facilities in liberated Aghdam, the Azerbaijani ombudsman office reported on September 17.
The mission, which is visiting Azerbaijan at the invitation of Azerbaijani Human Rights Commissioner Sabina Aliyeva, inspected residential buildings, civilian objects, religious, cultural and historical monuments in the region during the Armenian occupation over about three decades.
An on-site investigation is underway into the mausoleum of Panahali Khan, the Aghdam Juma and Giyasli mosques, as well as other cultural and social facilities in the city that were destroyed.
The fact-finding visit is mainly aimed at conducting an on-site investigation on the liberated lands, collecting evidence, drawing up a report based on the obtained results, and submitting it to international organizations.
The Azerbaijani human rights commissioner and the OIC Ombudsmen Association members were also briefed about the mined areas in Aghdam, the serious threat posed by mines and other explosive devices to human life and health, as well as mine victims.
The fact-finding mission by the Azerbaijani human rights commissioner and the OIC Ombudsmen Association delegation is underway.
The members of the mission earlier visited Shusha to monitor the cases of vandalism against social facilities, cultural and historical monuments in Shusha, one of Azerbaijan’s important centers of historical, cultural, and socio-political life.
During the visit, the members of the delegation visited the statues of great figures of Azerbaijani culture, as well as the Yukhari and Ashaghi Govhar Aga mosques.
Occupied by Armenian forces in 1993, Aghdam is known as the Hiroshima of the Caucasus for the level of destruction during the three decades of occupation.
Armenia's aggression and illegal occupation caused irreparable damages to Azerbaijan's cultural heritage, which includes thousands of cultural values, including monuments of the world and national importance, mosques, temples, mausoleums, museums, art galleries, sites of archaeological excavations, libraries and rare manuscripts.
Sixty-four of 67 mosques and Islamic religious sites were destroyed, greatly damaged, and desecrated.
More than 900 cemeteries were destroyed and vandalized. The evidence of illegal "archaeological excavations" and so-called "restoration work" was found on the liberated Azerbaijani territories, confirming previous reports of Armenia's attempts to hide and falsify cultural, historical and scientific evidence.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said that hundreds of cultural institutions, 927 libraries with a book fund of 4.6 million, 22 museums and museum branches with more than 100,000 exhibits, 4 art galleries, 8 culture, and recreation parks, as well as one of the oldest settlements in the world in Fuzuli region - Azykh Cave, the Shusha State Historical and Architectural Reserve had become victims of the Armenian vandalism.
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