Armenia reacts with outrage to another video of apparent Azerbaijani war crimes

Armenia reacts with outrage to another video of apparent Azerbaijani war crimes
Azerbaijan denied the Armenian allegations but said it would investigate any evidence of crimes committed in the fighting last month. / bne IntelliNews
By Ani Mejlumyan in Yerevan October 3, 2022

Another video has surfaced of Azerbaijani soldiers apparently executing Armenian POWs during the latest invasion on September 13-14. 

"Another horrific video circulated in social media: Azerbaijani soldiers are arbitrarily executing a group of Armenian POWs on sovereign Armenian territory. The international community should strongly condemn and address this war crime and  take appropriate measures to halt Azerbaijan's aggression." Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan tweeted, "Armenia will use all available international mechanisms to ensure investigation and accountability. Such acts of violence should be addressed properly, with consequences for the aggressor."

EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar tweeted: "Another horrible video has emerged of Armenian prisoners of war apparently being executed. If this video is proven to be authentic then this is a war crime that needs to be investigated and the perpetrators punished."

At least six Armenian POWs appear to being murdered in the video.

Armenia's Ombudsperson Kristine Grigoryan and Yeghishe Kirakosyan, the representative to the ECHR,  suggested this might be the right time for Armenia to ratify the Rome statute and accede to the International Criminal Court because Azerbaijan won't punish the war criminals. 

The Prosecutor Office of Azerbaijan said in a statement: "The Military Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Azerbaijan fully and comprehensively investigates whether the videos of this category are genuine, as well as the time and place where the images in the videos were taken, the identity of the military personnel depicted in them, as well as all other cases that are important for determining the objective truth. As a result of the investigation, legal measures will be taken." 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan's statement read: "The statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia dated October 2, 2022, claiming war crimes were committed by the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, is an example of the hypocrisy of a country that has pursued an aggressive policy for decades, trampled on the fundamental rights of nearly a million people, and committed numerous war crimes against military personnel, as well as civilians. Unlike Armenia, Azerbaijan takes its international obligations seriously and relevant state institutions investigate claims related to crimes committed during military operations." 

The ministry referred to charges brought up two years ago where Azerbaijan prosecuted several soldiers who committed alleged war crimes during the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh war. The  four arrested soldiers – Gardashkhan Abishov, Rashad Aliyev, Arzu Huseynov and Umid Aghayev –  were let go after what Armenians said was a sham trial.

Moreover, this August, possibly the same soldiers, Gardashkhan Abishov and Rashad Aliyev appeared in another statement of the Ministry of Defence of Azerbaijan, this time about awards for "protecting the borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan". While Rashad Aliyev is a common name in Azerbaijan Gardashkhan Abishov isn't. 

On September 16, other videos were circulating on Instagram where Azeri soldiers apparently mutilated at least two Armenian women, one servicewoman, one a nurse.