STEPANAKERT, Artsakh—Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s (Artsakh) Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) Ruben Melikyan published on December 9 the second interim report on atrocities committed by Azerbaijan during the April war in 2016.
The report highlights three war crimes under the International Humanitarian Law committed by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces against Artsakh serviceman and civilians: torture, execution, and mutilation of dead bodies.
“In the early morning hours of April 2, 2016 the Azerbaijani armed forces launched a thoroughly planned large-scale offensive along the entire line of contact between NKDA and Azerbaijani AF, deploying tanks, attack helicopters, heavy artillery, rocket launchers, and unmanned combat aerial vehicles,” the report read.
The foreword of the report stated that Azerbaijan’s unprovoked offensive was the largest and bloodiest violation of the ceasefire regime since 1994. Armed conflict lasted until 12pm on April 5, when by active interference of the international community the cease-fire regime of 1994 was restored.
According to the Melikyan, the facts provided in the interim report were based on “numerous on-sight visits, dozens of witness interviews, consultations with military, medical and technical experts, as well as information requests to the respective authorities, and media monitoring.”
“The systemic and grave violations of the International Humanitarian Law in April 2016 by the Azerbaijani armed forces still require proper actions from the respective international human rights organizations, as a matter of concern for the whole international community,” stated the report.
For confidentiality reasons, the public report does not include the victims’ names and graphic images.
The second interim report comes eight months after the first published by the Ombudsman.