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Azerbaijan Accused Of War Crime In Karabakh


NAGORNO-KARABAKH -- A destroyed and burnt helmet lies on the ground of the hospital of Martakert region, October 15, 2020

Armenia has accused Azerbaijani troops of executing two ethnic Armenian prisoners of war captured during the ongoing fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The accusations followed two videos posted by Azerbaijani social media users on Thursday. One of them depicts the capture of two men wearing Karabakh Armenian military uniforms while the other shows Azerbaijani-speaking soldiers shooting and killing them. The POWs were bound and draped in Armenian flags during the execution.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry claimed afterwards that its troops have nothing to do with the killings.

Armenia’s human rights ombudsman, Arman Tatoyan, described the footage as “irrefutable legal evidence of a war crime” committed by the Azerbaijani army. Tatoyan said he will send it to “international bodies” and ask them to take action against Baku.

In a detailed analysis published by the investigative website Bellingcat, Nick Waters, a retired British army officer and open source expect, suggested that “these two men were indeed Armenian combatants who were captured between October 9 and October 15 by Azerbaijani soldiers, possibly special forces, and likely executed a short time later.”

A spokesman for Armenia’s Office of the Prosecutor-General said on Friday that the executed men were residents of Karabakh’s southern Hadrut district which has seen fierce fighting in recent days.

The official, Gor Abrahamian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service that Karabakh prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into “murders committed in gross violation of the norms of international humanitarian law.”

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