Smiley face
Weather     Live Markets

The Center for Truth and Justice (CFTJ), a human rights organization representing ethnic Armenians, submitted evidence to the International Criminal Court (ICC) alleging that Azerbaijan is committing genocide against Armenians. This submission accuses Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and other top leaders of carrying out atrocities against the Armenian population. The court’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, will review the evidence and determine whether to open an investigation, a decision that is expected to take several months. The CFTJ’s goal is to prompt action from international bodies to address the ongoing human rights violations.

The tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan date back decades, with a significant conflict erupting in 2020 over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. This war resulted in more than 6,600 deaths and displaced tens of thousands of people. Following a lightning military campaign, Azerbaijan regained control of Nagorno-Karabakh, prompting the mass exodus of over 100,000 ethnic Armenians from the region. The CFTJ’s submission to the ICC alleges that Azerbaijan has engaged in actions aimed at destroying the Armenian population in Nagorno-Karabakh, with evidence from victims and witnesses documenting atrocities committed by Azerbaijani forces.

The human rights organization claims that Azerbaijan’s actions, including the deportation of a significant portion of the population, could fall under the court’s jurisdiction as a crime against humanity. While Armenia is a member of the ICC, Azerbaijan is not, limiting the court’s authority to crimes committed on Armenian territory. However, legal experts suggest that the forced relocation of the ethnic Armenian population could potentially be considered within the court’s domain. An associate professor of international law at the University of Western Australia noted that the mass exodus of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh does not appear to be a coincidental event, indicating potential criminal intent.

The submission to the ICC took place amidst ongoing legal proceedings between Armenia and Azerbaijan at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. The ICJ is addressing cases related to allegations of racial discrimination violations by both countries, stemming from the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused each other of violating a racial discrimination treaty, bringing their grievances before the UN’s top court. The CFTJ’s efforts at the ICC seek to draw attention to the human rights abuses in Nagorno-Karabakh and hold Azerbaijani leaders accountable for their actions.

The CFTJ’s submission to the ICC consists of over 100 pages of documents and a dossier containing the testimony of more than 500 victims and witnesses of the alleged atrocities committed by Azerbaijani forces. The organization has highlighted the grave nature of the abuses, including mutilation of bodies and dissemination of images online. This evidence, which includes social media posts recorded by Azerbaijani soldiers, aims to provide a comprehensive account of the crimes committed in Nagorno-Karabakh. The CFTJ emphasizes the need for concrete action by international bodies to address the ongoing human rights violations and ensure accountability for those responsible for the genocide allegations.

The International Criminal Court, which prosecutes individuals for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, faces legal challenges in pursuing a case against Azerbaijan for genocide. While the court may have limitations in jurisdiction due to Azerbaijan’s non-membership status, legal experts suggest that crimes such as forced displacement of a population could potentially constitute crimes against humanity. The submission to the ICC underscores the importance of holding perpetrators of human rights abuses accountable and seeking justice for the victims of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

© 2024 Globe Echo. All Rights Reserved.