Armenia FM had nothing to share with UN Council on human rights: Azerbaijani mission

Armenia FM had nothing to share with UN Council on human rights: Azerbaijani mission

Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1


Armenian Foreign Minister did not have anything worthwhile to share with the UN Council on promotion and protection of human rights in Armenia, said Yalchin Rafiyev, Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Azerbaijan to the UN Office and other International Organizations in Geneva.

Rafiyev made the remarks in his response to the statement by Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian, delivered at the High-Level Segment at the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry told Trend on March 1.

"Since the beginning of the High-Level Segment we have been listening to the statements of high-level dignitaries enthusiastically talking about their achievements in the protection of human rights in their own countries. However, the head of Armenian delegation devoted his bulk of speech to Azerbaijan. Proceeding from this, one can assume that the minister did not have anything worthwhile to share with the Council in the field of promotion and protection of human rights in Armenia. Instead, he dedicated his statement on denying the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence on the ground, rejected the responsibility of crimes against humanity committed in Khojaly district of Azerbaijan and attacked my country with ungrounded accusations about tragic events that happened prior to the independence of Azerbaijan," he said.

He said the documentary evidence proves that Armenia unleashed the war, attacked Azerbaijan and occupied its territories, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven adjacent districts, carried out ethnic cleansing on a massive scale, and established the ethnically constructed subordinate separatist entity on the captured Azerbaijani territory.

"The most serious international crimes have been committed in the course of the war," he added. "Yesterday, the Armenian minister referred to Khojaly, a small town located in Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is under the occupation of Armenia for more than quarter of a century. Let me inform you what happened in Khojaly in 1992. On the night of Feb. 26, the civilian population of the town faced the most brutal atrocities and war crimes of history committed by Armenia, as a result of which 613 people were killed, including women, children and elderly. The incumbent president of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, was the person leading all these crimes against humanity. In his interview to famous journalist Thomas de Waal in 2003, President Sargsyan described the Khojaly genocide as follows: “Before Khojaly, the Azerbaijanis thought that Armenians were people who could not raise their hands against the civilian population. We were able to break that stereotype”. With these sentences he perfectly described the state of naive trust and hope of the Azerbaijani side to the conflict, which inadvertently fell victim to misguidance."

Rafiyev further said the Armenian minister also raised the issue of access by UN institutions to assess the human rights situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

"I would like to remind the Armenian minister that the people whose rights have been gravely violated are not living in Nagorno-Karabakh due to ethnic cleansing policy of Armenia. They all are residing in other cities of Azerbaijan as IDPs. If any UN institution would like to assess their situation they can visit IDP camps in Azerbaijan."

"As for the tragic events that happened prior to the independence of Azerbaijan, we would like to inform the distinguished colleagues that the results of the prosecution and investigation conducted by Central Soviet authorities revealed that the main perpetrators of those events were ethnic Armenians, Eduard Grigoryan and Zhirayr Azizbekian, and their fellow compatriots, orchestrated by Soviet intelligence services. This had been acknowledged by the incumbent president of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, in his speech on March 30, 2005, during parliamentary hearings in Armenia: “There are grounds for a judgment that the mass pogroms and killings of peaceful Armenian population in Sumgait ... were exercised with the knowledge of Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in Moscow"," said Rafiyev.

The ambassador emphasized that the international community continues to observe the gross violations of the rights of more than one million Azerbaijani IDPs and refugees with silence.

"That is why I will conclude my remarks with an appeal to the world community with a famous quote: “Once you see it, you cannot unsee it, and once you have seen it, staying quiet, saying nothing is as much political act as speaking out”. We call on all states to speak out for restoration of the violated human rights of Azerbaijani IDPs and refugees," he concluded.

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