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Armenian mine terror and ensuring rights of mine victims discussed at UN

14 November 2023 12:38 (UTC+04:00)
Armenian mine terror and ensuring rights of mine victims discussed at UN
Abbas Ganbay
Abbas Ganbay
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Mine victims should be recognised as a vulnerable group, and their rights should be ensured.

This was stated during discussions at the 31st session of the Human Rights Council's (HRC) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism on the impact of mine aggression on human rights at the UN Geneva Centre on November 13, Azernews reports.

Antonio Stango, President of the Italian Federation for Human Rights, who presented a paper on "The devastating impact of landmines on the protection of human rights in the South Caucasus" at the event, noted the scale of the humanitarian tragedy of landmine contamination in Garabagh. It was emphasised that Azerbaijan is the second country in Europe in terms of landmine contamination.

Within the framework of analysing the report, it was informed that, as a result of 30 years of mine terror by Armenia, international customary and humanitarian law, as well as fundamental human rights, have been grossly violated.

A.Stango stated that all this prevents the return of more than 700,000 former Azerbaijani IDPs to their native lands and infringes on their rights to a healthy life, work, and education. The importance of launching an international human rights mechanism and providing compensation to Azerbaijani citizens affected by the mine rupture was noted.

Moderator of the event - Executive Director of Universal Human Rights Mark Limon in his speech spoke about the importance of recognizing mine victims as a separate, particularly vulnerable group in the international human rights system.

Thierry Vallet, the organizer of the event and President of the French Association for Freedom of Conscience, who supported the idea, stated that during his colleagues' visit to the liberated city of Aghdam earlier this year, they had witnessed that a cemetery and religious monuments had been booby-trapped, resulting in mostly civilian victims.

Vallet called on Armenia to co-operate with Azerbaijan on post-conflict humanitarian demining.

Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, human rights activist Leyla Alajbegovic, who defends the rights of mine victims, proposed not just to recognize the rights of mine victims at the UN level, but to develop a compensation mechanism for the restoration of their rights.

It is worth noting that Bosnia and Herzegovina has been the most affected in Europe by mine contamination.

"If the perpetrators of mine terror in Bosnia and Garabagh do not pay compensation, this inhumane style of warfare will continue to destroy the future of millions of people in other parts of the world," said Lejla Alajbegovic.

Delivering the final report at the event, Ambassador at Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Elshad Iskenderov noted that as a result of almost 30 years of Armenian occupation, one-tenth of the country's territory was deliberately mined by Armenia, and more than 1.5 million mines were laid in these territories.

After the Second Garabagh War, the Armenian side stubbornly refused to provide information about the laid mines, and then at the insistence of the Azerbaijani leadership did hand over maps of minefields, but as a result of checking these maps, it was found that they were only 25 percent accurate.

Stating that only in the post-conflict period did more than 300 people become victims of mine ruptures as a result of such criminal position of official Yerevan, Elshad Iskenderov stressed the need to send an inspection to Armenia within the framework of a special international mechanism and to obtain accurate information about the actions of this country on mines against Azerbaijan.

"Every day the international community drags out the pressure on Armenia to provide this information turns into new human casualties, prevents the return of hundreds of thousands of people to their homes, delays the process of establishing peace in the region," the Ambassador said.

The participants of the event decided to make a joint statement at the regular session of the Human Rights Council demanding the need to recognize and ensure the rights of mine victims.

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