• Thursday, Feb 02, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Armenia takes Azerbaijan to top UN court

  • Published at 08:32 am September 17th, 2021
Armenia Ajerbaijan
File Photo: An ethnic Armenian soldier fires an artillery piece during fighting with Azerbaijan's forces in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh on September 29, 2020 Reuters

Azerbaijan said it would "hold Armenia to account" for what it said were rights abuses against its own people

Armenia dragged rival Azerbaijan to the UN's top court on Thursday, accusing it of decades of rights abuses including last year's war over a disputed region.

Yerevan is calling on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to take emergency measures to "protect and preserve Armenia’s rights", the Hague-based tribunal said in a statement.

Azerbaijan said it would "hold Armenia to account" for what it said were rights abuses against its own people.

Armenia's case is based on an allegation that Azerbaijan has breached a UN treaty, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

"For decades, Azerbaijan has subjected Armenians to racial discrimination," the filing says, "with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev himself leading the way".

"As a result of this state-sponsored policy of Armenian hatred, Armenians have been subjected to systemic discrimination, mass killings, torture and other abuse."

Armenia also says that the alleged violations "once again came to the fore in September 2020, after Azerbaijan’s aggression".

The ICJ was set up after World War II to rule on disputes between United Nations member states. Cases usually take years to reach a conclusion.

Decades of tensions over Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh erupted into a six-week war last autumn that claimed more than 6,500 lives. 

It ended in November with a Russian-brokered ceasefire under which Armenia ceded territories it had controlled for decades.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an ethnic Armenian region of Azerbaijan that broke away from Baku's control in the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Around 30,000 people have died during the conflict. 

'Grave breaches'

Azerbaijan said it would launch its own legal proceedings in response to the Armenian move.

"In the coming days, we will hold Armenia to account for breaches" of the discrimination convention, Azerbaijan’s deputy foreign minister Elnur Mammadov said in an English-language tweet.

"Thirty years of human rights abuses against Azerbaijanis during occupation will not be tolerated."

The Azerbaijan foreign ministry said it had been "carefully documenting and compiling evidence of gross human rights abuses" by Armenia for its own legal action.

"This includes Armenia’s targeting of Azerbaijanis for expulsion, torture, murder and serious mistreatment," 

"We will not tolerate these grave breaches of ICERD by Armenia, and will be seeking justice under international law as soon as possible."

Both sides have long traded accusations of rights abuses, including in last year's war.

In February, the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan both addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council over their claims that the other side violated international law.

Armenia accused Azerbaijani forces of targeting civilian infrastructure and destroying Armenian cultural and religious heritage.

Azerbaijan, which was backed by Turkey during the conflict, for its part accused Armenian forces of war crimes.

In December, Amnesty International urged Baku and Yerevan to urgently probe "war crimes" committed by both sides during the fighting.

While Armenia has not opened an investigation into its army for war crimes, Azerbaijan has charged two of its soldiers for mutilating bodies of Armenian soldiers. 

In the 1990s, Armenian-backed separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence from Azerbaijan in a war over the mountainous province that left some 10,000 dead.

Armenia's ally Russia refused to intervene militarily in the latest conflict last year, but deployed several thousand peacekeepers to Nagorno-Karabakh after brokering the peace accord in November.  

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail