By Vafa Ismayilova
Baku has said that Armenia's bombardment of Azerbaijan's second-largest Ganja city located far from the 44-day war zone with ballistic missiles must not go unpunished.
“One year passes since the day when Armenia subjected the second largest city of Azerbaijan, Ganja, to missile fire. This inhuman crime must not go unpunished. We pay tribute to the memory of the victims of the crimes committed by Armenia with deep sorrow,” Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov tweeted on October 11.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Commissioner Sabina Aliyeva once again turned to the international community, urging appropriate measures against Armenia for its war crimes against Azerbaijan in 2020, the ombudsman office reported on October 11.
Aliyeva made the statement on the first anniversary of the second Armenian-committed deadly attack on Ganja.
"In connection with the first anniversary of the loss of life and destruction as a result of the second shelling of the city of Ganja by heavy artillery, I once again call on the world community to give an international legal assessment to the facts of gross violations of the norms and principles of international humanitarian law by Armenia and to take appropriate punitive measures against the Armenian military-political leadership responsible for these acts of crime," she said.
Aliyeva stressed that on October 11, 2020, for the second time, Armenia's armed forces using the banned Scud-B ballistic missile system, which is considered an indiscriminate weapon, fired on apartment buildings in Ganja's central part located far from the zone of active hostilities.
"As a result, dozens of people, including children, women and the elderly, were killed and injured, and numerous civilian infrastructure facilities were severely damaged," the commissioner stressed.
Aliyeva underlined that Armenia's deliberate targeting of the Azerbaijani civilians grossly violates international humanitarian law, in particular, the provisions of the IV Geneva Convention and the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, as well as the humanitarian ceasefire declared on October 10, 2020.
"As the Ombudsman, I immediately appealed to influential international organizations and the world community regarding the regular shelling of civilian facilities in Ganja by the armed forces of Armenia, also numerous casualties, and mass violations of human rights and freedoms," the rights commissioner said.
Aliyeva stressed that she had conducted another fact-finding mission in Ganja, investigated the facts of violations of the rights of people killed, wounded and subjected to sufferings as a result of damages during Armenia's next military attack, and submitted the report to international organizations.
"Our statements of protest addressed to international organizations and fact-finding mission reports contain undeniable pieces of evidence. However, such facts of mass violations of human rights and freedoms during military operations have not yet been assessed by international law," the rights commissioner said.
The new statement by Aliyeva was addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Security Council, UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Office of High Commissioner for Refugees, UN Human Rights Council, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, European Union, Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, International and European Ombudsman Institutions, Asian Ombudsman Association, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Ombudsman Association of its member states, Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, European Network of Ombudspersons for Children, International Peace Bureau, different ombudsmen and national human rights institutions, embassies of the Republic of Azerbaijan in foreign countries and the foreign embassies in Azerbaijan, as well as to the Azerbaijani Diasporas.
During the second Karabakh war, Ganja, Barda, Yevlakh, Beylagan, Tartar, Gabala, Goranboy, Aghjabadi, Khizi and other Azerbaijani cities and regions came under Armenia's missile and artillery fire.
International human rights watchdogs Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch verified the use of banned cluster bombs and rockets by Armenia in its attacks against Azerbaijani cities.
As a result of the military aggression by Armenia, 100 Azerbaijani civilians were killed, including 12 children and 27 women. As many as 454 people were injured, including 35 children. Some 181 children lost one parent, five children lost both parents, one family died. In total, 12,292 residential and non-residential buildings and 288 vehicles were damaged.
A criminal case has been initiated into the death of every civilian in Azerbaijan caused by the Armenian terror, and appeals have been sent to international courts and organizations.
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