Statement by the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan to protest the provocative attempt of Armenia in the direction of Kalbajar district of the Azerbaijan state border

According to the official information, on May 27, 2021, at around 03:00 a.m., a two-group sabotage and reconnaissance detachment of the armed forces of Armenia infiltrated into the territory of Azerbaijan in the direction of Yukhari Ayrim village of the Kalbajar district of the Armenia-Azerbaijan state border to commit terror and provocative acts aimed at planting landmines in the roads.

As a result of immediate operational measures, the members of the sabotage and reconnaissance detachment of Armenia, which still does not want to give up its aggressive and peace-threatening policy, were detected during the mine operation on the road leading to the border positions of the Army of Azerbaijan, while some of them escaped. However, 6 people (2 people from one group and 4 people from another) were detained and disarmed by the Army of Azerbaijan.

Later in the morning hours, near the Azerbaijani borders, it was observed the concentration of several military vehicles, including tanks, belonging to the armed forces of Armenia. However, their movement was prevented as a result of appropriate measures taken by the Army of Azerbaijan.

Armenia, already for some period, has been implementing a deliberate policy of rising tensions in the border areas of the two countries. The entry of the Armenian armed forces' reconnaissance group members into the territory of Azerbaijan and attempts to mine those territories and other subversive acts are considered as acts of terrorism and sabotage under international law.

Despite the fact that I have repeatedly reported to international organizations the fact of refusal of Armenia to give the maps of mines planted in the formerly occupied territories of Azerbaijan for years, such subversive and subsequent mine attempts at crossings in the territory of Azerbaijan by the sabotage group of Armenia are other  such severe violations of the norms and principles of international law and international humanitarian law (IHL). This fact once more demonstrates the apparent disrespect of Armenia for human rights, posing a serious threat to the lives of the servicemen and civilians in Azerbaijan.

We would like to note that landmines placed by the Army of Armenia in the liberated Kalbajar district and other areas of Azerbaijan during the occupation still pose a serious threat to human life and health. Hundreds of thousands of landmines planted in those areas and as the responsible state, Armenia’s refusal to provide maps of the mined areas aggravates the situation in the region and seriously undermines the process of restoration of peace and coexistence.Therefore, it is very crucial to take urgent measures at the international level to make the current political and military leadership of Armenia understand its obligations stemming from international law and respect human rights.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that we have repeatedly raised the issue of Armenia's this and other violations before  international human rights organizations, we do not see any effective measures taken at the international level against the State of Armenia that has committed numerous crimes of war, crimes against peace and humanity and terror acts in gross violation of the norms of IHL, in particular the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

In the light of the foregoing, we call on international organizations and the world community to take measures to refrain Armenia from further military provocations, from attempts to threaten peace, and to provide maps of minefields as soon as possible, and abide unconditionally by all terms of the trilateral statement concluded between the Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian leaders.

Sabina Aliyeva

The Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman)

of the Republic of Azerbaijan

27 May 2021

This Statement is addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Security Council, UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Office of High Commissioner for Refugees, UN Human Rights Council, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, European Union, Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, International and European Ombudsman Institutions, Asian Ombudsman Association, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Ombudsman Association of its member states,  Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, European Network of Ombudspersons for Children, International Peace Bureau, different ombudsmen and national human rights institutions, embassies of the Republic of Azerbaijan in foreign countries and the foreign embassies in Azerbaijan,  as well as to the Azerbaijani Diasporas.