By Vugar Khalilov
Azerbaijan's State Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs has urged an international legal assessment of Armenia's war crimes committed in Azerbaijan during the first and second Karabakh wars.
In an appeal to international agencies on the first anniversary of the 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the committee said: "We call on all international organizations not to remain indifferent to the illegal actions of Armenia, to give a due legal assessment of its actions, contrary to the norms and principles of international law, to support the development and life of children in conditions of peace and prosperity."
In the appeal, the committee detailed Armenia's war crimes against Azerbaijani civilians, especially children.
Twelve children were killed and 35 were seriously injured as a result of war crimes committed by Armenia against Azerbaijani civilians living far from the conflict zone, the committee said.
As many as 181 children lost one, five - both parents and one family was completely destroyed, the report added.
“As a result of the military aggression by Armenia, which lasted for about 30 years, over 23,000 Azerbaijanis were killed, 50,000 were wounded or became disabled, about 4,000 citizens of Azerbaijan are still missing. In all the de-occupied territories of Azerbaijan, more than 700,000 Azerbaijanis were subjected to ethnic cleansing. As many as 250,000 of the Azerbaijani population were expelled from their ancestral lands in the late 1980s,” the committee added in its appeal.
It underlined that during the first Karabakh war, "210 children were killed, 270 lost their health and 92 children were taken hostages".
The committed stated that 3,393 children lost one, and 120 children lost both parents. During the occupation of 20 percent of the Azerbaijani territories by Armenia, Azerbaijan was one of the countries with the largest number of refugees and internally displaced persons in the world.
"As a result of the intensive shelling of the territories of Azerbaijan far from the conflict zone by Armenia, which widely used the tactics of terror in the second Karabakh war to plunge the population into horror, 33 women were killed, 74 were injured of varying severity,” the appeal added.
Armenia’s deliberate targeting of the civil settlements increased the number of civilians, as well as children and women among the victims. This is another proof of the Armenian vandalism, it stressed.
Despite the humanitarian truce announced between the parties from 1200 (GMT+4) to 0200 am (GMT+4) on October 10 and 11, Armenia launched fired ballistic missiles and heavy artillery at a densely populated central quarter of the Ganja city, which is located far from zones of hostilities.
On the night of October 17, 2020, Armenia launched another ballistic missile at Ganja, the second largest city in Azerbaijan. Both attacks resulted in numerous casualties. At about 1300 on October 28, 2020, the Armenian armed forces again violated the humanitarian truce and fired at Barda region's center, using the Smerch multiple missile launchers. Hundreds of civilians were injured, and many civilians were brutally killed.
Armenia continued to bombard Mingachevir, Tartar, Aghdam, Shamkir, Naftalan, Aghjabadi, Khizi, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Beylagan cities and other Azerbaijani settlements located far from the battlefield using ballistic missiles and heavy artillery.
Armenia deliberately carried out these attacks at night to cause more human casualties. These kinds of strikes caused psychological tension and anxiety among the civilian population, and especially among children, which shall remain with them throughout their lives.
The appeal added that seeing the defeat of its army in the combat zone, the Armenian leadership, ignored the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflicts, which it had ratified and attracted children under the age of 15 to the hostilities.
The committee noted that Armenia's aforementioned actions, attacks on objects protected in accordance with international law, including schools and hospitals, as well as conscription or mobilization of persons under 15 years of age to participate in hostilities are classified as war crimes.
Armenia always pursued the policy to prevent the Azerbaijani population from returning to their homes and lands. During the occupation, more than 900 settlements, 150,000 houses, 1,100 educational institutions, and 520 medical institutions have been plundered in the occupied lands and most of the territories were subjected to large-scale mining.
Despite all these difficulties, the Azerbaijani state has entered a new stage, which includes post-conflict reconstruction and reintegration, and is moving decisively forward.
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