Horrific treatment of female Armenian soldiers labeled most serious gender-based violence – NGO – Panorama

More than 50 Armenian NGOs have appealed to international human rights institutions regarding Azerbaijan’s latest massive attacks on Armenia. The full text of their statement is provided below.

“Just after midnight on September 13, 2022, Azerbaijan launched a large-scale attack and invasion of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, shelling civilians, civilian infrastructure and other civilian objects along the border. eastern Armenia and further beyond the front line.Planned in advance, Azerbaijani forces used combat drones, artillery and large-caliber firearms.

As a result, Armenia has 207 soldiers killed or missing, 5 civilians killed and hundreds injured, more than 7,600 civilians have been displaced inside the country. For a country of less than 3 million inhabitants, these figures are significant.

Propaganda of hatred and intolerance towards Armenians in Azerbaijan, supported by the state for decades, is evident here. In addition to evidence of mistreatment, torture, humiliation, mutilation and execution of Armenian POWs, in recent attacks Azerbaijani servicemen also stripped, tortured and executed Armenian servicewomen. Dozens of graphic videos depicting the inhumane treatment and execution of Armenian servicemen and civilians have been voluntarily shared and posted on social media by Azerbaijani servicemen, speaking of a lack of fear of punishment. The particularly horrific treatment of Armenian military women is called the most serious gender-based violence. The cause of this behavior is the deep-rooted misogyny of the Azerbaijani military and society as a whole, as also evidenced by the encouragement and normalization of such offenses on social media by Azerbaijani users.

On September 16, 2021, Armenia filed a complaint before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Azerbaijan to combat the Azerbaijani state-sponsored policy of Armenophobia, because of which the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia have faced systemic discrimination, murder and torture. On August 30, 2022, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination issued its Concluding Observations on Azerbaijan expressing its concerns and recommendations to Azerbaijan, stating that “(4) the Committee is deeply concerned about: (c ) incitement to racial hatred and the spread of racist stereotypes against persons of Armenian national or ethnic origin, including on the Internet and social media, as well as by public figures and government officials, and the lack of detailed information on investigations, prosecutions, convictions and penalties for such acts.

On October 2, a new video was released on Azerbaijani Telegram channels, showing Azerbaijani soldiers executing Armenian POWs on Armenian territory. The Armenian mediator confirmed the authenticity of the video.

We, the undersigned, are appalled by the silence and dithering of the international community around this aggression and violence. This silence only serves to embolden the Azerbaijani government and makes it impossible to achieve peace in the South Caucasus. Human rights organizations have a particular responsibility to expose the Azerbaijani government’s impunity and hold it accountable for its gross human rights violations, torture and other breaches of international obligations.

The undersigned Armenian civil society organizations:

• Strongly condemn Azerbaijan’s recent attacks on sovereign Armenian territory, as well as its Armenophobic rhetoric and policies.

• Call on the Azerbaijani government to enter into negotiations in good faith in the interests of real and lasting regional peace.

• Call on the UN Human Rights Council to send rapporteurs to visit and inspect Armenian towns affected by the Azerbaijani incursion, and interview affected residents and witnesses to document and give a direct response to violations of the law by Azerbaijan and hold it to account.

• Call on democratic countries internationally to condemn Azerbaijan’s incursion into the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia and to cease all military aid to Azerbaijan.

• Call for sanctions against Azerbaijan for its flagrant violations of international law․

• Call on the EU and US to stop empowering the Aliyev regime amid its gross human rights abuses.

• Call on independent human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, to send an urgent mission to Armenia to independently confirm war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Azerbaijan.

• Welcome the call to the aggressor by various international organizations such as Freedom House, the Lemkin Institute for the Prevention of Genocide, several governments, politicians and members of the human rights community. »

The declaration is signed by:

1․Yerevan Press Club NGO
2․For Equal Rights Educational Center NGO
3․NGO Union of Informed Citizens
4․NGO Public Journalism Club
5․Restart Gyumri- NGO Center Initiative
6․Human Rights Research Center NGO
7․Media Initiatives NGO Center
8 ․ CISC Free Citizen
9․NGO Women’s Right House
10․NGO Protection of Rights Without Borders
11․Center for Community Mobilization and Support NGO
12․NGO Peace Dialogue
13․Foundation for the development and protection of law
14․Helsinki Association for Human Rights
15․Armenian Progressive Youth NGO
16․Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center
17․Committee for the Protection of Freedom of Expression
18․political dialogue NGO
19․NGO Advanced Social Technologies
20 ․ NGO Disability Rights Agenda
21․Democracy Today NGO
22․Civil Youth Center Community Development NGO
23․British – Armenian Human Rights Association
24․Coalition Against Violence Against Women
25․ Granish Literary Community NGO
26․Spitak Helsinki Group Human rights NGO
27․NGO Women’s Resource Center
28․NGO Society Without Violence
29․ONG Women’s Support Center
30․Pink Human Rights Defender NGO
31․NGO Sexual Assault Crisis Center
32․Real World, Real People NGO
33․”Agate” Rights Defense Center for Women with Disabilities NGO
34․Human Rights Power NGO
35․Laboratory of Cultural and Social Narratives NGO
36․Goris Press Club NGO
37․Center for Perspective Development NGO
38․Media Diversity Institute – Armenia NGO
39․OxYGen Foundation for Protection of Youth and Women Rights NGO
40․Freedom of Information Center NGO
41․ “Region” Research Center
42․Open Society Foundations–Armenia
43․ “Bayazet” Armenian Analytical Research Center NGO

About Antoine L. Cassell

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