During a military parade Thursday Baku, Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev proclaimed that Zangezur, Lake Sevan, and Yerevan are historical lands of Azerbaijan.
At the same event, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan glorified the masterminds and perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide, as well as the mass atrocities against Armenians committed in Baku in September 1918. The two leaders continued their vitriol and hatred toward the Armenian people, threatening the life, safety and well-being of the entire population of Armenia.
Armenia’s Human Rights Defender’s Office assessed the speeches and confirm that the statements and expressions of hatred and hostility voiced by the Azerbaijani and Turkish presidents were the same used by Azerbaijani soldiers during this war while cruelly torturing, killing or degrading Armenian prisoners of war and captive civilians with excessive cynicism and humiliation.
“Over the years, these types of statements have formed the institutional propaganda in Azerbaijan, aimed at disseminating and inciting hatred and hostility against Armenians based on their ethnicity, endorsing explicit impunity and supporting all of this at the highest official level,” Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan said.
“From September to November 2020, the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Azerbaijani military forces have been beyond any human imagination by their sheer volume and level of their cruelty. These have been actions, which require additional scientific research to understand the depths of cruelty a human being is capable of,” the Ombudsman said.
The Turkish president in his speech—full of hatred and threats against the Armenian people—mentioned that today is the day of glorification of the souls of Ahmed Jevad pasha, Nuri pasha, Enver pasha, and members of the Caucasus Islamic Army.
“It is an established fact that these people are the Young Turks, who have organized and committed the Armenian Genocide, that included brutal killings, torture, and rape,” Tatoyan stated.
“Of those, Enver Pasha in particular, during the years of the Armenian Genocide, was among the organizers of the atrocities, in his position as the military minister of the Ottoman Empire (1913-1918). Jevad bey, organized and committed all genocidal actions during the First World War, in his position as Constantinople’s (now: Istanbul) city commandant and the member of Turkish state special organization ‘Teskilat Mahsume’ based on the ideology of Pan -Turkism, serving in the rank of major-general. Moreover, these individuals, in particular Nuri pasha, who was Enver pasha’s brother, as part of the Caucasus Islamic Army, took part in the mass atrocities of September 1918 committed against Armenians in Baku, these atrocities were also accompanied by torture and rape,” he added.
“Glorifying these individuals by the Turkish president, and doing it in a public speech made during a military parade displays explicit genocidal intent. The aim of this speech is undoubtedly to inflict more hatred,” the Human Rights Defender stressed.
“All of this is augmented by the blunt and false statements blaming Armenians for destruction of Azerbaijani or Turkish religious sites or heritage,” he added.
“These speeches are direct threats aimed at life and health of the all Armenians—Armenia’s civilian population. They are an explicit expression of terrorism, which are absolutely prohibited by international law. The aforementioned speeches also affirm Azerbaijan’s genocidal policy applied through methods of ethnic cleansing and terrorism during this war,” the Ombudsman said.
The Human Rights Defender of Armenia called upon the international community to react and take substantive preventive measures with regards to these issues, which are in breach of fundamental principles of international law and undermine the entire international system of human rights and humanitarian protection.