CoE Commission calls on Azerbaijani political leaders at all levels to refrain from hate speech towards Armenians

The Council of Europe commission against racism and intolerance has recommended that Azerbaijani political leaders at all levels refrain from hate speech towards Armenians.

“Persistent adversarial narrative against Armenia, which is rooted in the context of the long-lasted conflict and confrontations related to Nagorno-Karabakh, has continued, and the public discourse has been marked by the use of inflammatory rhetoric in public statements by politicians, including at the highest political level, and other public figures, as well as by the wide dissemination of hateful content, in traditional and social media,” the Commission said in a new report.

The Commission noted that “the opening of the Baku Trophy Park in April 2021, where Armenian military equipment and personnel were portrayed very negatively, also raised a lot of criticism.”

ECRI shares the grave concerns expressed by other international bodies, including the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe and the CERD about the language of “aggression” and regular resort to adversarial narratives that propagates racist stereotypes and perpetuates animosities.

ECRI says it has received numerous reports with graphic accounts of violence against Armenians, including willful killings or the extensive destruction of their property during and after the 2020 armed conflict and confrontations in and around Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Whilst these reports are of a very serious nature and should be the subject of effective investigations, ECRI underlines that the general issue of war crimes and treatment of both servicemen and civilians in times of armed conflict goes beyond ECRI’s mandate, is primarily subject to the general principles of public international law and international humanitarian law and is dealt with by other international bodies, including of a judicial nature. In this regard, ECRI refers to the interim measures taken at the international level, notably by the European Court of Human Rights and the International Court of Justice, pertaining to the pending cases before these bodies,” the report reads.

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