Armenia and Azerbaijan take conflict to UN court

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In the bitter conflict over the South Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia has accused neighbouring Azerbaijan of serious human rights violations before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Azerbaijan is responsible for violence, hatred and racism against Armenians, the country’s legal representatives said in The Hague on Thursday.

The highest UN judges must impose immediate measures against Azerbaijan “to end the cycle of violence and hatred.”

“Perpetrators are enabled, encouraged and even glorified by Azerbaijan authorities,” they claim.

Just over a year after the war over Nagorno-Karabakh, both states have now taken their conflict to the UN court. Azerbaijan also filed a complaint.

The case is to be heard next week. It is not yet known when the court will rule.

Armenia accuses the neighbouring country of persecution and discrimination against Armenians, citing the UN International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Prisoners of war have been tortured and executed and bodies of killed soldiers have been desecrated. Prisoners of war were not released despite international obligations, and cultural and religious sites were destroyed, the rights representatives said.

The background to the legal dispute is the war over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has been contested for decades.

More than 6,500 people were killed in the fighting from September 27 to November 9 last year.

Azerbaijan had finally recaptured large parts of the territory lost in the early 1990s with the help of Turkey, with which it shares cultural and religious links. Armenia meanwhile sees Russia as its protecting power for similar reasons.

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