Armenian Ombudsman reveals facts of religious hatred on state level in Azerbaijan

Armenian Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan has published facts about ethnic-religious based hatred at the highest level in Azerbaijan.

“What is this, if not evidence of the policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide in Artsakh; what is this, if not fascism?” Tatoyan says of Aliyev’s recent visit to Hadrut region and his instruction to wipe out the Armenian inscriptions from church walls.

During his visit to the 12th century Surb Astvatsatsin Armenian Church in the village of Tsakuri, in the Hadrut region of Artsakh, Aliyev said: “This is an Albanian church. The Armenians tried to Armenianize this church, they wrote inscriptions in Armenian here, but they did not succeed. This is our ancient temple, the temple of our Udi brothers, they too will come here. Just as our mosques were desecrated, so were the ancient Albanian temples desecrated by the Armenians. But we will restore, all these writings are false. These are the posts added later. They have created a false story for themselves. Meanwhile, they did not succeed. (…) It is a Turkish mosque. They falsified everything and turned it into a garbage dump. “Look at what they’ve done to place, and then they say it is Armenian.”

The 12th century Surb Astvatsatsin church in Tsakuri village is the former monastery complex of the village “Tsaghkavank,” from which the “Surb Astvatsatsin” church has been preserved. According to the khachkars, it dates back to 1198 and differs by its round door. The church is a masterpiece of medieval architecture and culture of Artsakh.”

A few days ago, it was confirmed that the church of St. John the Baptist, popularly known as “Kanach Zham” in the Azerbaijani-controlled town of Shushi, had been destroyed. Moreover, the church was destroyed not during the war, not during the armed attacks, but afterwards.

These facts have been recorded by the Republic of Armenia (RA) Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its March 18, 2021 statement.

The RA Human Rights Defender will send the records of these facts to the relevant international bodies.

“But we especially note that for years in Azerbaijan hatred and enmity towards Armenians has been sown in this way at the highest state level, and it is not only hatred based on ethnicity, but it is also religious hatred,” the Ombudsman said.

“The facts published by this statement clearly prove that during the September-November war in Artsakh, the Azerbaijani authorities carried out ethnic cleansing and a policy of genocide; and, that policy continues today,” he said.

“These same speeches and words of the President of Azerbaijan inspired the Azerbaijani soldiers to torture and behead, dismember bodies and commit other atrocities against Armenian servicemen and civilians in the April 2016 April and during the September-November 2020 war,” Tatoyan stated.

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