A man prays at one of the fresh graves of Armenian soldiers killed in the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh and buried in the Yerablur military pantheon in Yerevan. (file photo)
Armenia has challenged Azerbaijan at the United Nations’ top court, accusing it of decades of rights abuses against Armenian citizens and ethnic Armenians — including events that unfolded during the 2020 war over Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenia contends that Azerbaijan has “subjected Armenians to racial discrimination” for decades as a “state-sponsored policy of Armenian hatred,” according to a statement issued on September 16 by The Hague-based International Court of Justice.
As a result, the court said, Yerevan claims that “Armenians have been subjected to systemic discrimination, mass killings, torture, and other abuse.”
The tribunal said Armenia is alleging that “these violations are directed at individuals of Armenian ethnic or national origin regardless of their actual nationality.”
Armenia also claims that “these practices once again came to the fore in September 2020, after Azerbaijan’s aggression” against Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia.
The Armenian claim says “during that armed conflict, Azerbaijan committed grave violations” of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
Armenia also alleges that “even after the end of hostilities,” following a cease-fire which entered into effect on November 10, 2020, “Azerbaijan has continued to engage in the murder, torture, and other abuse of Armenian prisoners of war, hostages, and other detained persons.”
“Armenia further contends that “all good-faith efforts by Armenia to put an end to Azerbaijan’s violations of the CERD through other means [have] failed,” The Hague-based tribunal said.
Armenia has called on the tribunal to take provisional measures “as a matter of extreme urgency” in order to “protect and preserve Armenia’s rights and the rights of Armenians from further harm, and to prevent the aggravation or extension of this dispute” until the court determines the merits of the allegations.
A spokesperson for Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said Azerbaijan would defend itself “robustly” and plans to file a countersuit accusing Armenia of the same rights violations.