“Human rights violations by Armenia during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict”

It is always too easy to just simplistic take a side in an international conflict. I notice that in the Netherlands it is common to side with the Armenians in this conflict. Whether this has to do with the fact that Armenians are Christians and Azerbaijani are Muslims is not clear. But this does mean that people are often blind to the military actions of their "own side". This might also the case in this conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, which revived after a long time, resulting in a lot of human suffering.


The story that is common opinion, the Azerbaijani try to “conquer” Nagorno-Karabakh, which is predominantly inhabited by Armenians. This is at odds with the finding that the Armenian army in Azerbaijan occupies areas adjacent to the enclave but outside its boundaries set by the UN. So in fact undisputed (by the international community) Azerbaijani territory. As a result, Armenia is acting in violation of international law. As with many international conflicts, no action is subsequently taken by that international community.


It could therefore be argued that the Azerbaijani themselves are allowed to intervene. And on the basis of that apparent justification, Armenia's response by also intervening militarily is claiming self-defense, while they themselves are the instigator of the conflict. However, this is for the international community to investigate and judge.

What certainly needs to be thoroughly investigated by the international community in this conflict is the Armenian army's bombing of civilian targets, far from the front line. The Commissioner for Human Rights in Azerbaijan speaks in a statement of: “{the armed forces of Armenia} once again, hit central parts of ancient and densely populated Ganja, Azerbaijan's second largest city located far from the frontline, with rockets from the territory of Armenia. According to preliminary reports, 13 civilians, including 3 minors, were killed, 52 were injured, whereas, there is no news about the fate of 2 children. Numerous civilian facilities were also severely exposed to damage. Rescue operations are underway to save those who trapped under the rubble.[1]


In armed conflict, innocent people will always die, but if there is indeed a deliberate attack on civilian targets by Armenia, then this is in flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention and those responsible should be punished. Even if that means that the culprits are on "your side."

[1] (https://ombudsman.az/en/view/news/2128/statement-of-the-commissioner-for-human-rights-ombudsman-of-the-republic-of-azerbaijan-concerning-the-civilian-casualties-and-destructions-in-ganja-city-occurred-due-to-another-missile-strike-of-armen)

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