UN rights chief says concerned by violations of international law in Karabakh conflict zone

In a wide-ranging opening speech to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein shed a light on “preventable calamities” and worrying trends around the world, including detailed concerns about the situation in more than 50 countries.

“The rights of people still suffering from the protracted conflicts in the South Caucasus have long been a concern of my Office,” he said.

“We have received allegations of violations of international law in the context of the upsurge in hostilities along the line of contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, especially in April. Significant efforts are needed to address the situation of displaced people. My Office is ready to assist in the collection of objective information on human rights needs in the affected areas,” Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said.

Azerbaijan unleashed a large-scale military aggression against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh in April this year, violating international humanitarian law and committing war crimes.

Azerbaijani armed forces beheaded and tortured not only servicemen of the NKR Defense Army, but also civilians, including elderly people and women. 

The bodies of servicemen of the NKR Defense Army transferred to the Armenian side under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had signs of torture and mutilation.

Those acts constitute a grave violation of the international humanitarian law, in particular, the Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (1949), Geneva Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (1949) and the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I).

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