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Azerbaijan takes Armenia to International Court of Justice over ethnic cleansing claim

24 January 2023 17:08 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan takes Armenia to International Court of Justice over ethnic cleansing claim
Sabina Mammadli
Sabina Mammadli
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Azerbaijan filed its memorial, based on thousands of pages of evidence, documenting almost 30-year-long injustices, against Armenia with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on January 23, Azernews reports per Foreign Ministry.

According to the ministry, the memorial, which proves detailed information about Azerbaijanis killed, displaced, and harmed by Armenia, based on ethnic and national origins, represents a major development in Azerbaijan’s international legal proceedings against Armenia under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The ministry noted that Azerbaijan urged the court to declare Armenia as responsible for wholesale violations of the human rights of Azerbaijanis, for ethnic cleansing, including through unlawful killing, torture, destruction, and dispossession; cultural erasure; the promotion of hatred against Azerbaijanis; failure to promote tolerance of Azerbaijanis among the Armenian population; and state sponsorship of armed hate groups in Armenia.

Further, the ministry highlighted that Armenia’s invasion and illegal occupation of territories internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan were accompanied by a conscious and deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing.

“This practice, which continued until 2020, aimed to create an ethnically pure Armenian settlement on Azerbaijan’s territory through destruction, looting, and exploitation of Azerbaijani districts. After liberating its territories in 2020, Azerbaijan has undertaken an enormous evidence-collection exercise in the liberated territories. The scale of Armenia’s destruction of hundreds of thousands of lives, countless families and communities, irreplaceable cultural heritage, and the environment is truly shocking,” the message stated.

Moreover, it was emphasized that this policy of ethnic discrimination has prevented all Azerbaijani citizens to return to their homes in the Karabakh region for almost thirty years and to this day, hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani IDPs still cannot return to their former homes.

“Entire towns, such as Fuzuli, Aghdam, Jabrayil, Gubadlı, Zangilan, and Kalbajar were destroyed as part of Armenia’s occupation and `scorched earth' policy when it retreated from the then-occupied territories following the war in 2020. Some 95% of all buildings located in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region were razed to the ground since Armenia’s occupation in 1991,” the ministry noted.

The ministry stressed that Armenia’s reprehensible targeting of civilian homes and settlements with explosives and landmines, as a result of which 282 Azerbaijanis either died or were severely wounded, is part of this discriminatory policy.

“Landmines are critical elements and painful legacy of Armenia’s campaign to prevent the return of displaced Azerbaijanis,” the ministry added.


Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SabinaMmdl

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