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The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan

United Nations Security Council A63-692

Letter dated 23 January 2009 from the Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-GeneralI have the honour to transmit herewith the report on the international legal responsibilities of Armenia as the belligerent occupier of Azerbaijani territory (see annex).

 

I should be grateful if you would have the present letter and its annex circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda items 13, “Protracted conflicts in the GUAM area and their implications for international peace, security and development”, and 18, “The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan”, and of the Security Council.
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Posted by admin Posted in: United Nations No Comments » March 2009


UN- General Assembly: Human Rights Question

General Assembly, Fifty-first session
THIRD COMMITTEE, Agenda item 110
Eldar KOULIYEV   Ambassador

The armed aggression of the Republic of Armenia against the Azerbaijani Republic pursuant to its policy of violent acquisition of territory and its plans to establish a “Greater Armenia” has resulted in gross and flagrant violations of human rights which fall within the category of crimes against humanity.

 The armed hostilities against Azerbaijan were preceded by anti-constitutional actions in the Nagorny Karabakh region of Azerbaijan perpetrated by separatist groups receiving outside support; forming the backdrop to these actions were certain decisions taken by the Armenian authorities in contravention of international law.  Of these decisions, the most notorious is the resolution “Reunification of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic and Nagorny Karabakh” adopted by the Armenian Parliament on 1 December 1989.  Moreover, in Armenia’s declaration of sovereignty of 23 August 1990, part of the territory of another State  the Nagorny Karabakh region of Azerbaijan – is recognized as an integral part of the Republic of Armenia.  These decisions by the Armenian Parliament were enacted by its armed forces with the widespread use of mercenary bands and a sudden upsurge in terrorist activity by the Armenian special services and terrorist organizations against sovereign Azerbaijan with a view to wresting away part of its age-old lands.  All-out hostilities began at the end of 1991 and the start of 1992 when Armenian armed formations initiated combat operations in the Nagorny Karabakh region of Azerbaijan using the very latest weapons systems.  Since May 1992 their armed forces have made incursions beyond the borders of the former Nagorny Karabakh Autonomous Region into other parts of the country.

     As a result of more than eight years of war, approximately 20 per cent of the entire territory of Azerbaijan, comprising Nagorny Karabakh and an area four times bigger than that region, has been occupied and held by the Armenian armed forces.

     A chronological list of the seizure of Azerbaijani towns and districts follows:

     28 February 1992 – Khojaly
     8 May 1992 – Shusha
     18 May 1992 – Lachin
     3 April 1993 – Kelbajar
     28 June 1993 – Agdere
     23 July 1993 – Agdam
     23 August 1993 – Fizuli
     26 August 1993 – Djebrail
     30 September 1993 – Kubatly
     28 October 1993 – Zangelan and Goradiz

It should be noted in particular that the Agdere and Agdam districts of Azerbaijan were seized by Armenian armed forces following the adoption of Security Council resolution 822 (1993) of 30 April 1993, which condemned the occupation of the Kelbajar district; the Fizuli district was seized after the adoption of Security Council resolution 853 (1993) of 29 July 1993 condemning the seizure of the Agdam district; and the Djebrail and Kubatly districts were seized after the adoption of Security Council resolution 874 (1993) of 14 October 1993.  In its resolution 884 (1993) of 11 November 1993, the Council condemned the occupation of the Zangelan district and the city of Goradiz, attacks on civilians and bombardments of the territory of the Azerbaijani Republic.  In all the above-mentioned  resolutions, the Council underscored respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of the Azerbaijani Republic, and the inadmissibility of using force to acquire territory.  It also demanded the immediate cessation of armed hostilities and hostile acts, and the immediate, full and unconditional withdrawal of all occupying forces from the occupied areas of Azerbaijan.  Despite the unequivocal demands of the Security Council, the Republic of Armenia is today still holding on to occupied Azerbaijani territory and increasing its military presence there.

As a result of the aggression and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis from the territory of Armenia proper and from the occupied part of the territory of Azerbaijan, there are currently over 1 million refugees and displaced persons in Azerbaijan.  A total of 900 settlements have been looted and destroyed.  Over 9 million square metres of civilian housing, state enterprises and social facilities have been destroyed and burnt.  The total cost of the destroyed housing and the property removed therefrom amounts to tens of billions of dollars.  An extremely serious humanitarian situation has developed in Azerbaijan.

Every year hundreds of elderly people, women and children die in refugee camps as a result of diseases and epidemics.

The Armenian armed forces, backed by mercenary formations and Armenian terrorist groups, have killed over 18,000 people and wounded or maimed over 50,000.  Several thousand people are missing and extrajudicial executions and mass shootings of civilians have been carried out.  Kidnapped hostages held in Armenia and the occupied areas of Azerbaijan are doing forced labour and being made to endure inhumane treatment, beatings, torture and other gross violations of their human rights.

     According to information from the State Commission of the Azerbaijani Republic on prisoners of war, hostages and missing persons, as a result of Armenian aggression these categories comprised 4,674 Azerbaijani citizens as at 1 March 1996.  This total includes 314 women, 60 children and 252 elderly people (lists of missing women, children and elderly people are attached).  The State Commission knows the whereabouts of over 900 of these people, including 39 women, 12 children and 39 elderly people, in the territory of the Republic of Armenia and the occupied Azerbaijani territories.  The vast majority of them are being detained by the Armenian side without the knowledge of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and therefore do not appear on that organization’s lists.

The hostages and prisoners of war held by the Armenians, many of whom are considered missing persons since they are being concealed from the ICRC, are forced to do heavy physical labour, subjected to beatings and torture, and the sick and wounded are denied basic medical assistance.  The State Commission has learnt that 145 Azerbaijanis have died in Armenian captivity.  Four people, who endured indescribable degradation and suffering, died shortly after being released.

Ethnic cleansing of Armenian territory of its Azerbaijani inhabitants

The widespread settlement of Transcaucasia by Armenians began after tsarist Russia’s military conquest of the Caucasus.  Taking advantage of the changed demographic situation, the Armenians, under the tutelage of the rulers of tsarist Russia and, later, the communist leaders of the Soviet Union, encroached on the native Azerbaijani population in various parts of the region.

It is a matter of historical fact that in 1828-1829 alone, 130,000 Armenians were resettled out of Middle Eastern countries into the area now forming the Republic of Armenia; another 600,000 were resettled later. 

By 1918, the number of Azerbaijanis in what is now Armenia stood at 575,000 – more than a third of all the inhabitants of the area. But as a result of the Armenian Government’s deliberate policy of expelling the Azerbaijani population, there remains today in Armenia not a single Azerbaijani out of that half-million-strong community.

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Posted by admin Posted in: Khojaly, United Nations No Comments » April 2008


UN Calls for Removal of Armenian Forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh Region

The General Assembly on March 14 adopted a resolution on the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan in which it called for the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces “from all the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan.”

The United Nations also called for “continued respect and support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders.”

The resolution reaffirmed “the inalienable right of the population expelled from the occupied territories” of Azerbaijan to return to their homes, and to achieve that end it underlined the need for the comprehensive rehabilitation of all conflict-affected territories.

No State should recognize as lawful the current situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, nor provide aid or assistance to maintain that situation, according to the text, which also called for “normal, secure and equal conditions of life for Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region” so that “an effective democratic system of self-governance” can be built up.

In addition, the resolution voices support for international mediation efforts to the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, particularly the work of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group Co-Chairmen.

Posted by admin Posted in: United Nations No Comments » March 2008