After the recent aggression in September 2022 by Azerbaijan against Armenia, not only Armenian but also the international community was shocked by a horrible video spread in the Azerbaijani media outlets, Armenian MP Arusyak Julhakyan said at the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
“Armenian women who fell into the hands of Azerbaijani Armed Forces fell victim to the utmost degrading and inhuman treatment. All of the female captives were stripped down to their breasts and left on the field of combat with their chests stripped naked,” she said.
“In one of the videos a completely nude woman’s body was placed in a trophy-like manner above the rest of the nearby corpses. Her breasts and genitals were borne naked as a spectacle for the witnesses. The perpetrators left a message “YAŞMA” on her chest, which is a code name for the Azerbaijani specially trained forces, and I will skip all other horrible details,” the lawmaker added.
“The filming and circulating of such operations on media is done for public appraisal and pride. The perpetrators had evidently intended to leave it as a message to the observers, as these videos were seen not only by the Armenian people in general but also by the three children of this female soldier, causing unnecessary suffering and grief to them. And it is worth mentioning that the body of this female serviceperson had not been given to the Armenian side for a long time,” Julhakyan added.
“The video I am talking about is a concrete evidence of a grave war crime cruelly committed by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces and attributable to Azerbaijan. The severe violence of the perpetrators is beyond imagination. Moreover, these gruesome crimes are followed with actions demonstrating extreme cynicism based on the hatred against ethnic Armenians. This violence is not only gender based but also racial based,” the MP said.
She stressed that the outrage upon the personal dignity, constitutes a war crime under the International Criminal Law and the perpetrators must be punished, as the impunity causes new crimes.
“So it is necessary that the Assembly addresses the issue of sexual violence during armed conflicts,” she said.