The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention condemned in the strongest terms the atrocities committed by Azerbaijanis against Armenian servicemen, especially against women serving in the Armenian military and medical corps, during Azerbaijan’s latest aggression against Armenia.
In a statement, the institute called on governments around the world to condemn Azerbaijan and call on the international media to accurately report on the campaign of terror.
The recent atrocities committed by Azeri troops have been shared on the social media site Telegram, just as they were during the 2020 war. They are being celebrated on Azeri social media and serve to wound, humiliate, demoralize, and terrorize Armenians as a whole, everywhere in the world, but especially in the Republics of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and Armenia,” the statement reads
The first video that appeared on Telegram captured Azerbaijani soldiers surrounding the body of a naked woman (the identity of Armenian sniper Anush Apetyan was later established). She was partially decapitated, her legs were cut off, at least one finger was cut off and placed in her mouth, and one eye was poked out and replaced with a stone. Azerbaijani soldiers surrounding her are celebrating and mocking her.
According to the institute, a second video has surfaced online showing the stripped and tortured body of Armenian nurse Irina Gasparyan.
“Due to Azerbaijan’s permanent denial of its crimes, and the lack of international condemnation, it is currently impossible to carry out any investigations to determine the proper nature of these war crimes. The evidence is in the hands of Azerbaijanis, and it is very unlikely that under the current scenario any national or international independent investigatory team will be able to access them. Preserving evidence of these war crimes, which could also constitute crimes against humanity and/or genocide, is essential for accountability and prevention. Therefore, we call upon the international community to order an urgent investigation of all current and past atrocities.
“These videos are reminiscent of tactics used by the Islamic State against ethnic and religious minorities in Syria and Iraq as well as tactics employed by the Turkish military against Kurdish fighters in eastern Turkey.
“In case one is tempted to make the mistake of thinking that these atrocities are isolated events, the Lemkin Institute wishes to point out the terroristic pattern that ties these atrocities to anti-Armenianism practiced in Azerbaijan, in Turkey, and by the Grey Wolves terrorist organization that is supported by both of these states. To this point, on Saturday, an Azeri diplomat threatened to rape Armenian women protesting Azerbaijan’s war of aggression in Washington, DC, with the words “I will [expletive] you,” the authors note.
The Lemkin Institute believes that Azerbaijan is committing a slow genocide – a genocide through a thousand strikes – against Armenians with the full support of Turkey, a NATO member. In such a situation, Western calls for Armenia to negotiate with Azerbaijan and Turkey over the status of Artsakh, a corridor through Syunik and Azerbaijani-occupied territory in the Republic of Armenia are shortsighted and dangerous. Western powers should have the courage to admit that they support Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They must take immediate action to isolate these regimes bent on committing genocide,” the statement reads, the authors of which remind – the entire territory inhabited by Armenians must be protected and guarded, including territories in Artsakh.
“Governments, organizations, companies, and agencies that continue to empower these genocidal states are currently and will continue to be complicit in these atrocity crimes — unless they change course and actively work against the impunity that Turkey and Azerbaijan have enjoyed for far too long. The Lemkin Institute is dedicated to preventing genocide and ensuring that perpetrators, including those who are complicit in genocide, are held legally and morally accountable,” it concluded.