Comment by the Spokesperson of MFA in response to a media inquiry from “”

19 December, 2023

Question: It has recently become known that the Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights has sent a communication to Azerbaijan expressing concern about the destruction and appropriation of the Armenian historical, cultural and religious heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh, intentional distortion of the history of Nagorno-Karabakh and attempts to erase the traces of Armenians, which may amount to cultural cleansing․ How would you comment, what are the expectations, is there a reaction?

Answer: You're right. The communication also points to attacks on people, monuments and symbols, and violations of international humanitarian law. The communication refers to the order of the International Court of Justice adopted on December 7, 2021, and to the information on the destruction of shrines, cemeteries, so called "Albanisation", anti-scientific approaches, a false agenda spread under the narrative of so-called "Western Azerbaijan", hate speech against Armenians, the attack of September 19 and ethnic cleansing, as well as a number of other issues․

It is noteworthy that the UN Special Rapporteurs have repeatedly touched upon the violations of the rights of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan, including cultural rights, cases of destruction and distortion of Armenian heritage.

Unfortunately, even the above-mentioned legally binding Order of the International Court of Justice did not stop the policy towards the Armenian religious and cultural heritage. Yes, this is also combined with manifestations of incitement to hatred, anti-scientific falsification regarding the territory of Armenia and the history of Nagorno-Karabakh.

At the same time, we consider it important that the international community documents the above-mentioned approaches and realities: it is of primary importance for prevention of similar atrocities and establishment of an atmosphere of dialogue and lasting peace in the region.

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