Hitting religious worship sites is a war crime, Armenia tells Azerbaijan

October 8, 2020 – 20:27 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – The Armenian Foreign Ministry on Thursday, October 8 reminded Azerbaijan that targeting sites of religious worship and cultural monuments is a war crime under international humanitarian law.

The statement from the Armenian side comes after Azerbaijan twice hit the iconic Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shushi, Nagorno-Karabakh, as a result of which at least two Russian journalists were injured, one of them severely.

“This is another crime of the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan, which reveals its inhuman essence. Nevertheless, this action fully fits into its policy of Armenophobia developed for decades. Azerbaijan, which has completely annihilated the Armenian cultural heritage in Nakhichevan and in other parts of the historical homeland of the Armenian people, now throughout the ongoing military aggression against is trying to deprive of Artsakh of their homeland and historical memory,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry sad.

“With these actions Azerbaijan replicates behaviour of its newly acquired allies – the infamous international terrorist organizations, who are responsible for destruction of the numerous historical-cultural monuments in the Middle East. We condemn in the strongest way this heinous crime of Azerbaijan is also a challenge to the whole civilized humanity.

“In this regard, we remind the Azerbaijani military-political authorities that targeting religious worship sites and cultural monuments is war crime as enshrined in international humanitarian law, the responsibility for which has no statute of limitations.”

Azerbaijan, with help from Turkey, launched a large-scale offensive against Karabakh (Artsakh) in the morning of September 27, shelling Armenian positions and civilian settlements with large caliber weapons and rocket systems. Armenia and Karabakh have introduced martial law and total mobilization. The Armenian side has reported deaths and injuries both among the civilian population and the military. International and local journalists too have been injured in Azeri shelling of towns and villages.

Donations can be made to Hayastan All-Armenian Fund, which has launched a fundraising campaign to support Karabakh amid Azerbaijan’s aggression.

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