By Vafa Ismayilova
Visiting members of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation ) Ombudsmen Association delegation have summed up the results of their international fact-finding mission to Azerbaijan's Karabakh liberated from Armenia's occupation in 2020, the ombudsman office reported on September 18.
At a news conference held on September 18, the delegation members focused on the facts of war crimes committed by Armenia against Azerbaijan, including the destruction of cultural monuments, as well as the consequences of the ecological terror committed by the Armenian side in the previously occupied Azerbaijani territories.
Speaking at the event, Azerbaijani Ombudsperson Sabina Aliyeva thanked Turkey and Pakistan for providing moral support to Azerbaijan during the last year’s 44-day Second Karabakh War.
OIC Ombudsmen Association President Seref Malkoc thanked Aliyeva for the invitation to visit the country.
Malkoc said that based on the results of the mission to investigate the facts of crimes committed by Armenia in the previously occupied Azerbaijani territories, a report will be prepared and it will be sent to international organizations.
He also stressed the importance of expanding ties between the ombudsman’s offices of the countries.
The advisor to the Association Secretary-General, Muhammad Javed Ghani, shared his impressions of the trip to the territories liberated from Armenian occupation.
He said that the members of the delegation witnessed destructions, annihilation of religious and cultural monuments by Armenia in the previously occupied territories.
During the news conference, the results of monitoring related to the facts of vandalism of Armenia in relation to social facilities, cultural and historical monuments in the previously occupied territories, as well as the results of the mission to investigate the facts, in particular the collected evidences, were discussed.
At the end of the news conference, the OIC Ombudsmen Association issued a statement on the fact-finding mission results.
It should be noted that 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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