26 September 2018
On September 24, the Office of the Nagorno Karabakh Ombudsman published a report on “Armenophobia in Azerbaijan”. The report documents the rise and intensity of anti-Armenian rhetoric that has become part of the mainstream discourse in Azerbaijan today.
This report is one of a series of reports published following the April war of 2016, during which numerous atrocities were committed, but which prompted no reaction on the part of the international community.
The report paints a worrying picture, as expressions of anti-Armenian sentiment are expressed in all parts of society, from the president’s office to the media and indeed schoolbooks.
One paper, Günduz, wrote, for instance, that “a separate department should be created within the Ministry of National Security to investigate the Armenian blood among the population. For example, the parents who intend to marry their children could apply to that department to check if their future relatives have blood relation to the Armenians.” Schoolbooks contains statements such as: “this restless nation [the Armenians] with the satanic blood running through their veins, has committed against us countless acts of terror.”
The report documents numerous such manifestations of anti-Armenian sentiments, including statements made by governmental officials and other individuals in position of authority; anti-Armenian statements in the media; public manifestations of anti-Armenian sentiment other than statements; and anti-Armenian sentiment in schoolbooks.
Writing from a legal perspective, the ombudsman articulates the extent to which these officially sanctioned manifestations of extreme hostility represent a breach of international agreements signed by Azerbaijan, including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (“CERD”) and the European Convention on Human Rights.
The European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance includes in its report on Azerbaijan a chapter on Armenian sentiment, in which the situation is adequately summarized. However, this has not let to a public reaction or initiative to address the problem on the part of European leaders or institutions.
To download the full report, click HERE.
To learn more about AGBU Europe’s campaign for European Union Aid to Nagorno-Karabakh, click on the following link: http://agbueurope.org/campaign-for-eu-aid-to-karabakh/