Amnesty Int’l regional director sends letter to Azerbaijani prosecutor general
Marie Struthers, director of Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office of Amnesty International, a globally leading human rights organization sent an official letter to Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan Kamran Aliyev.
Marie Struthers expressed her gratitude to Kamran Aliyev for following the activities of the organization and for the letter raising concerns about impartiality in 05 October 2020 press release of Amnesty International “Armenia/Azerbaijan: Civilians must be protected from use of banned cluster bombs”, the Prosecutor General’s Office told AzVision.az.
Meanwhile, the letter also notes that Amnesty International identified the use of ballistic missiles and rocket artillery salvos in Ganja city as well as cluster munitions in Barda on different dates.
Marie Struthers also stated that Amnesty International makes all efforts to provide impartial monitoring of the armed conflict and calls on all sides involved to fully respect international humanitarian law and protect civilians.
The Prosecutor General updated Marie Struthers on criminal facts discovered since 05 October 2020 in his following letter dated 9 November 2020 addressed to Amnesty International.
Moreover, Kamran Aliyev stated that several criminal proceedings were instituted by the Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate the established facts of organizing and financing the transfer of mercenaries - so called “volunteers” by Armenian politico-military leadership and diaspora organizations operating in different countries to take part in hostilities on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The list of mercenaries was also enclosed to the mentioned letter.
It was also noted that until now the “SCUD” and “Smerch” missiles have been used not only in the battlefield, but also against civilians. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International confirmed those facts describing attacks as “cruel and reckless”.
Thus, five heinous “SCUD” ballistic missile attacks were made by Armenian armed forces on Ganja, the second largest city of Azerbaijan with a population of half-million people and situated 100 km from the warzone. As a result of night bombardments of this peaceful and historical city on 5th, 8th, 11th and 17th October, 26 civilians were killed, 143 injured.
Another series of horrible ballistic “Smerch” missile attacks were made by Armenian armed forces on Barda, peaceful town with a population of 30,000 people situated far from the battlefield and resulted in 26 civilian deaths, including a Red Crescent volunteer, 90 injured as stated by Marie Struthers.
Also, on November 7th, 16-year-old civilian Shahmali Rahimov died in the wake of another missile shelling on Barda district. Thus, number of victims among civilians rose to 93 persons.
Moreover, Armenia used prohibited and extremely dangerous phosphorus bombs for five times either in the battlefield or in Terter, Aghjabedi and Goranboy districts which are away from hostilities.
It was stressed that Azerbaijan army has never targeted civilians.
The Prosecutor General provided detailed photos and videos of the alleged crimes and requested that these facts be included in future statements and reports by Amnesty International.