By Vugar Khalilov
Members of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have arrived in liberated Aghdam region to investigate Armenian war crimes, local media reported on September 24.
After reviewing the situation in Aghdam city, the delegation will visit Tartar and Ganja to observe the grave consequences of the Armenian missile attacks on the cities during the second Karabakh war in 2020.
During the visit to Aghdam, the chairman of the commission, Said Mohamed Abdulla Omair Alghfeli, stressed that the religious monuments in the city were being barbarously destroyed for almost 30 years.
"The destruction seen here causes great regret. Acts of cultural and religious vandalism are disrespectful for people's religious feelings and are a gross violation of basic human rights," the chairman said.
"We saw the destroyed villages and settlements, witnessed the violation of property rights. We saw what people who were forced to leave these lands had to go through, what kind of losses they withstood," he added.
The visiting international experts will file and send a report on the acts of Armenian vandalism in Azerbaijan's formerly occupied lands to relevant organizations, head of the Azerbaijani Ombudsman's office Aydin Safikhanli said.
"The main purpose of this visit is to see the consequences of the crimes committed by the Armenian occupiers on the liberated territories firsthand and to see the facts on the spot,” Safikhanli added.
The commission is investigating the war crimes, including the destruction of cultural monuments and ecological terror committed by Armenia during its three-decade occupation of Azerbaijani territories.
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.
As a result of ecological terror committed by Armenia through the use of banned chemical weapons and deliberate mass fires, the environment in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, including freshwater sources, has been physically and chemically polluted, various rare plant and animal species were destroyed and the cessation of the process of self-regulation in rivers and lakes, which has turned the water basins into a dead zone, harmful to all living organisms.
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.
At the same time, Armenia deliberately and constantly planted mines on Azerbaijani territories, in violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention, thereby being a major threat to regional peace, security and cooperation.
A Moscow-brokered ceasefire deal that Baku and Yerevan signed on November 10, 2020, brought an end to six weeks of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.
The peace agreement stipulated the return of Azerbaijan's Armenian-occupied Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions and withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s. Before the signing of the deal, the Azerbaijani army had liberated around 300 villages, settlements, city centers, and historic Shusha city.
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