The Human Rights Ombudsman of Artsakh published a special report on the hatred policy towards Armenians in AzerbaijanAt a press conference on September 25, 2018, the Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Artsakh Ruben Melikyan published a special report on "Armenophobia in Azerbaijan: Organized Hate Speech and Animosity towards Armenians," which, comparing the facts with the international law, introduces the manifestations of anti-Armenian policy in Azerbaijan and their impact on Armenians.
The Ombudsman firstly mentioned that, as a result of the fact-finding activity launched immediately after the 2016 April war, a number of reports have been published, which reveal the atrocities and violations of international law by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces against Armenian servicemen and civilians. By publishing the report the Ombudsman summarized the results of the fact-findings, presenting the deep causes of the atrocities.
R. Melikyan stressed three key messages of the new special report:
1. The Armenian society is not fully aware of the level of Armenophobia in Azerbaijan. It is organized, which usually does not remain at the level of hatred, and has far more serious consequences. The Ombudsman emphasized the need to become more fully informed about Armenophobia phenomenon.
2. The report contains important messages addressed to the international community. It is essential that the objective information available to the international community should be in understandable language.
3. The Armenian society should understand that we should not allow such hatreds on the Armenian side. In essence, the expressions of hate speech are unacceptable in response to the Azerbaijani hatred.
“One of the well-known examples of armenophobia is the case when the Ombudsman of the Republic of Azerbaijan Elmira Suleymanova expressed gratitude to the President of Azerbaijan for the efforts in extradition and pardoning of criminal Ramil Safarov.Notably, the Ombudsman reportedly stated in 2004: “Safarov must become an example of patriotism for the Azerbaijani youth”, - said Ruben Meliqyan.
Note: Ramil Safarov was an officer of the Azerbaijani army who was convicted of the 2004 murder of Armenian army Lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan. During a NATO-sponsored training seminar in Budapest, Safarov broke into Margaryan`s dormitory room at night and axed him to death while he was asleep.
The report was developed with the participation of three experts - Angela Elibegova, Levon Gevorgyan and Yeghishe Kirakosyan - in cooperation with Tufenkian Charity Foundation.
Executive Director of the Fundation Raffi Dudaklian said at the press conference that Armenophobia is organized and continuous in Azerbaijan, so it is necessary to create a stable monitoring mechanism that will allow to follow the developments and reveal the manifestations of the anti-Armenian hatred in the Azerbaijani society.
Expert Angela Elibegova emphasized that the Armenophobic messages are given to the Azerbaijani society in different ways and through different channels. According to Elibegova, one of the most serious examples of Armenophobia is the use of psychological violence against their own children, who from childhood are taught to hate Armenians through various games, fairy tales and textbooks. According to the expert, the Azerbaijani authorities are not going to solve the issue, and every day we witness examples of Armenophobia in the Azerbaijani press, public life and politics.
“When in September 2014 a storm pulled off numerous trees in Baku and caused serious damages to the population, the residents of Baku complained to Milli.az of the public services’ work. In response, the General Engineer of the Communal Residential Union of Khatai district Sahin Babayev said “the trees that are now falling on our head were planted by Armenians.” “Planting those trees back then, they created this problem for us; the pine-trees grow up, while the stems and the roots of the trees do not develop,” he said in an attempt to defend himself,” – said the expert.
Yeghishe Kirakosyan presented the legal part of the report, noting that the fight against racial discrimination is an important part of the international law.
In his words, the commitments that exist in the fight against racial discrimination originate from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and then more specifically – human rights treaties.
Kirakosyan outlined two legal aspects of the report,
1. Implementation of direct racial discrimination by the Government of Azerbaijan,
2. Implementation of anti-Armenian propaganda in the non-governmental sector.
“Azerbaijani official sources and media frequently publish anti-Armenian statements made by private individuals and politicians in their addresses to the President of Azerbaijan. Since those letters are published in the official website of the President of Azerbaijan, it is fully attributed to the head of that country,” stressed Kirakosyan.
The basic legal document which the report is based on is the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) (December 21, 1965,) and the Republic of Azerbaijan is a member of that Convention.
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