Starting from the early morning of April 2, 2016, the armed forces of Armenia increased fighting from their positions in the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, subjecting the armed forces of Azerbaijan along the line of contact and adjacent densely populated areas under control of Azerbaijan to intensive fire with heavy artillery and large-caliber weapons. As a result of Armenia’s attacks and subsequent hostilities, 34 towns and villages along the line of contact were shelled, 6 civilians, including children, were killed and 34 wounded. Substantial damages were inflicted upon the private and public property. Thus, 353 civilian buildings, among them 314 residential houses, 3 schools, 3 kindergartens, 1 cultural center and other civilian objects were either destroyed or damaged.
By its deliberate offensive actions, Armenia undermined the ceasefire regime established in 1994 and endangered the prospects of the political settlement of the conflict. On 5 April 2016 in Moscow, under the mediation efforts of the Russian Federation, the ceasefire was agreed between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Despite that, Armenia continues to violate that agreement by firing at the positions of the armed forces of Azerbaijan and the towns and villages situated along the line of contact with the use of large-caliber machine guns, mortars, grenade launchers and artillery systems.
Armenia’s direct and deliberate attacks against the Azerbaijani civilian population and civilian objects, as well as inhuman acts against Azerbaijani militaries constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, in particular the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol I thereto, the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its protocols, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Alongside the Republic of Armenia’s responsibility as a State for internationally wrongful acts, violations by Armenia of international humanitarian and human rights law during the conflict amount to crimes under international criminal law. The overall assessment of the causes and consequences of the war unleashed by Armenia against Azerbaijan make it absolutely clear that the crimes committed by Armenia during the conflict were not isolated or sporadic acts, but were part of Armenia’s widespread and systematic policy and practice of atrocities. The Republic of Azerbaijan in confident that the consistent measures being taken at the national level, as well as the existing international legal framework, will serve to bring justice those responsible for the grave offences committed in the course of Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan.
The Republic of Azerbaijan urges the international community to condemn Armenia for blatant violation of international law. The conflict can only be resolved on the basis of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders. The Republic of Azerbaijan will spare no effort towards achieving the political settlement of the conflict and ensuring peace and justice in the region.