Azerbaijan Should be Recognized as War Criminal

Naira Zohrabyan, member of the Armenian delegation to PACE, presenting at the plenary session on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 (Photo:
Naira Zohrabyan, member of the Armenian delegation to PACE, presenting at the plenary session on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 (Photo:

Naira Zohrabyan, member of the Armenian delegation to PACE, presenting at the plenary session on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 (Photo:

STRASBOURG, France (ArmRadio)—“The genocides we witnessed, the crimes committed against ethnic Yezidis, military crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Islamic State in Northern Iraq unfortunately continue today,” member of the Armenian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Naira Zohrabyan said, addressing the Parliamentary Assembly on Thursday.

In this context she stressed the importance of elaboration of more flexible mechanisms of cooperation with the International Criminal Court to fight against impunity.

Zohrabyan reminded that during the April military aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh soldiers and civilians, including children were severely tortured, killed and beheaded. She added that the actions constitute a gross violation of international humanitarian law and amount to war crime.

“Both the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Armenia, as a guarantor of Artsakh’s security, will do their best to have Azerbaijan recognized as war criminal,” Zohrabyan added.

She reminded that Azerbaijan unleashed a military offensive against Artsakh, violating the territorial integrity of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic – a party to the trilateral ceasefire agreement of 1994.

“Azerbaijan should be recognized as war criminal and most of you are aware of the Azerbaijani atrocities,” Zohrabyan told PACE.

Vice-Speaker of the Armenian National Assembly and PACE, head of the Armenian delegation to PACE Hermine Naghdalyan has handed over a report to PACE Secretariat, in which she sharply criticizes anti-democratic processes in Turkey after coup d’etat, at the same time opposing the statements voiced by the Foreign Minister of Turkey Cavusoglu. During the plenary session on Thursday, PACE held a debate on the situation in Turkey in the light of the attempted coup d’etat.

Below reads Naghdalyan’s speech to the plenary session.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today’s discussion is the best evidence that the situation in Turkey remains one of the “hot spots” of the international community attention. We all realize that the volatile situation in the country can be explosive not only for the region, but in a larger sense.

I am from Armenia, a country directly bordering Turkey, a country that felt negative consequences immediately.

What is the situation today – after the coup d’etat attempt…?

The scope and depth of President Erdogan’s reaction is devastating, leaving no hope to country for any democratic processes to take place. The Turkish authorities started to use the coup attempt as an excuse for the crackdown in the country. Thousands of military officers, judges, educators and civil servants have been abruptly arrested or fired. The recently prolonged state of emergency means the suspension of basic human rights, while the death penalty is being discussed to be re-imposed.

The authorities closed several Kurdish TV and radio channels, including one for kids. Can you imagine – Turkey sees a source of threat in a cartoon channel?

The conclusion is inescapable, Dear Colleagues – Turkey is becoming more autocratic and unpredictable, which results in separation of the society.

Just very recently, we were discussing the state of play with regards to functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey. As you remember various standpoints have been expressed during our debates; we were much concerned with the misdevelopments in the country and supported the idea to re-open the monitoring process. Today this issue is more crucial because of the U-turn that Turkey made in its democratization path.

The Turkish authorities totally disregarding the rule of law are using the situation to fight their political opponents and national minorities in the country.

So, Minister Cavusoglu would better concentrate on these serious problems rather than sharing with the Assembly his personal stories.

Another reference to Minister’s yesterday’s misleading remarks – his vision on Nagorno-Karabakh negotiation process lies in a parallel reality with illusive withdrawal from five regions. Whereas in reality the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh issue is aimed at the determination of the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh through the legally binding expression of will of its people.

One more attempt of misleading: the Minister also touched upon the Armenian-Turkish relations. If Turkey intended to normalize the relations with Armenia it would have then ratified and started to implement Zurich Protocols signed in 2009: the only closed border of Europe will be open.”


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