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Azerbaijani Ombudswoman urges HRW to impartial position on Karabakh issue

17 January 2023 [10:46] - TODAY.AZ
By Azernews

Sabina Mammadli

Azerbaijani Human Rights Commissioner Sabina Aliyeva has urged Human Rights Watch (HRW) to a fair, impartial position by avoiding double standards, a biased approach or statement that may put the efforts for sustainable peace in danger and delay the restoration of normal life in the region, Azernews reports.

In a statement addressed to Human Rights Watch’s annual report for 2022, the ombudsperson emphasized that such reports should be impartial, fair, and free from double standards.

“But unfortunately, as always HRW continues to be biased towards Azerbaijan by sharing baseless and biased information on social media and reflecting such baseless information in its annual reports,” she stated.

The statement noted that the report indicated the resolved conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan as an unresolved one, which shows the real approach of the HRW to this issue. It further pointed out that HRW shows disrespect for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity by ignoring the generally-recognized principles of international law and if the organization could take an effort and make an objective investigation, it would have seen the rapid restoration and construction activities carried out after the liberation of occupied lands.

The ombudswoman emphasized that there have been no cases of threatening Armenian lives in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region since the Trilateral Statement of November 10, 2020. In this vein, she stated that Armenia has occupied 20 percent of the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan for almost 30 years, as a result of which nearly 1m people became IDPs and about 4,000 Azerbaijanis went missing. Aliyeva added that Armenia has yet to provide information on the fate of the missing people, hence questioning HRW’s motive for its lack of initiative to bring this gross violation of human rights to the attention of the world community.

She also mentioned Armenia’s planting of thousands of landmines since the second Karabakh war, noting that 274 people were hit by the land mines and 46 people were killed, of whom 36 were civilians.

“It is strange that the HRW never mentions the leadership of Armenia, who was directly involved in the planting of these land with mines during the occupation of these territories and refuses to provide an accurate map of unmarked land mines,” Aliyeva stressed.

The ombudswoman underlined that Azerbaijan has numerously appealed to the relevant international human rights organizations on violations of the norms and principles of international law during and after the war. In her ad-hoc report on the land mine problem, the ombudsperson provided detailed information about the threat of land mines and stressed the need for rapid resolution of this problem which undermines the peace-building process in the region.

“The HRW’s approach to the issue of land mines creates such an impression as if continuous civil casualties due to these land mines are not a serious issue for this organization,” she said.

Regarding videos showing the alleged execution of Armenian military servants, Aliyeva noted that investigations have been started into the case, although there are some suspicions about the trustfulness of these videos.

“However, there are many videos, which demonstrate the torture and ill-treatment committed against Azerbaijani military servants by Armenian military servants, and some of them were spread on social media. But we never witnessed any case of investigation on the facts demonstrated in these videos by Armenian authorities and any reaction of HRW in this regard,” the official added.

The statement added that all Armenian POWs have already been returned to their homes just after the end of the Second Karabakh War and an impartial approach from the HRW in respect of investigation the cases of POWs is expected.

According to the statement, during her visits to the places which persons cannot leave of their own will, Azerbaijani Ombudsperson has determined that they were provided with medical treatment, a translator, and contact via video call with their relatives.

In this regard, Aliyeva advised the HRW to take a look at and use the ad-hoc reports of Azerbaijani Ombudsperson concerning her visits to monitor the human rights situation of the detainees of Armenian nationality while preparing its reports.


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