TODAY.AZ / Politics

Azerbaijan's Ministry of Culture issues statement on war crimes committed by Armenia

16 December 2020 [17:00] - TODAY.AZ

By Trend


Azerbaijan's Ministry of Culture issued a statement on war crimes of Armenia in the Kalbajar district, Trend reports referring to the ministry.

“As a result of the Azerbaijani army’s victory in the Patriotic War, which lasted from September 27 to November 10, the Kalbajar district was liberated from the Armenian occupation forces on November 25,” the statement said. “When the occupying forces left the district, information spread that the Khudavang monastery complex located in the district was looted, and the crosses, bells and other elements belonging to the complex were transported to Armenia.”

“Recently, another information has appeared confirming the above-mentioned one. According to it, the exhibition-sale ‘From Dadivank (Armenian name for the monastery) to Yerevan’ will be held on December 16, 2020, at the Museum of Folk Art in Armenia's capital city, which will display the Bible, crosses, icons, souvenirs, as well as books and photo albums brought from the Khudavang monastery complex,” further noted the statement.

“In connection with the information, the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan once again reminds the measures envisaged by the 1970 UNESCO Convention and aimed at prohibiting and preventing illegal import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property, as well as adopted in 1954 by the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict,” read the statement. “In particular, in the context of the occupation of Azerbaijani lands, paragraph 9 of the second protocol to the Hague Convention contains a warning and prohibition of illegal export from the occupied territory, other seizure or transfer of ownership of cultural property, any modification or change in the use of cultural property, which is aimed at concealing or destroying evidence of a cultural, historical or scientific nature.”

“This issue is under the strictest control of the ministry, and international organizations are regularly informed about the illegal actions of the Armenian side. In connection with the facts of misappropriation, measures will be taken to apply the necessary legal procedures. At the same time, we call on international organizations, in particular UNESCO, to give a legal assessment of these facts and to investigate the war crimes committed by Armenia against the historical and cultural heritage of Azerbaijan,” the statement authors pointed out.

“For information, we declare that the Khudavang monastery complex in the village of Vang, Kalbajar district, is one of the largest and most beautiful Christian architectural monuments of the ancient Azerbaijani state of Caucasian Albania. After the district’s occupation by Armenia in 1993, the complex began to be presented to the world as an Armenian monument,” added the authors.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, the Armenian Armed Forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.

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