Mass grave in Edilli is the exposure of another Armenian war crime | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Mass grave in Edilli is the exposure of another Armenian war crime


Mass grave in the village of Edilli in Khojavand District, liberated from Armenian occupation in 2020 as a result of the 44-day Second Karabakh War, is not the first mass burial site to have been discovered. The finding of 12 human remains mass-buried in this grave with their hands and feet bound with wire and rope gives reason to believe that the number of people whose remains were recovered from the mass graves in Edilli reaches 25. The fact that these people are soldiers judging by their clothes and belongings confirms many allegations of torture and murder of Azerbaijani prisoners of war. The initial on-ground study of the skeletons revealed that the hands and feet of the servicemen were tied before the murder. The mass grave has become the second of its kind found in Edilli. The first was discovered in February 2022 and was confirmed to contain the remains of around 15-20 Azerbaijanis.

The discovered remains belong to the Azerbaijanis who went missing during the First Karabakh War and whose fate remains unknown to this day. However, despite repeated appeals, the Armenian side will not provide information about the fate of these persons and the locations of mass burial sites of Azerbaijanis in order to hide their war crimes from the international community.

We stress that the discovery of such graves openly exposes the Armenian Armed Forces’ war crimes rooted in ethnic hatred, which, in gross violation of international law, international humanitarian law, including the 1949 Geneva Convention for the Protection of War Victims, are accompanied with torture and inhumane acts against Azerbaijani civilians, military personnel, especially the wounded and dead, demonstrates their inhumane behavior and genocide policy.

A striking example of this is the numerous videos confirming the multiple facts of brutal killings of Azerbaijani POWs by the Armenian military during the First and Second Karabakh wars with closerange shots to the head and heart area, robbery and dismemberment of soldiers’ bodies, torture and humiliation through acts incompatible with humanity.

According to data compiled by the Azerbaijani government, 3890 Azerbaijani citizens, including 71 children,267 women, and 326 older adults, went missing during the Firs Karabakh War between 1991 and 1994.

Azerbaijan demands assistance from Armenia in investigating the fate of these people, but this request remains unfulfilled. Post-war searches in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan unearthed the remains of 12 civilians in the Kalbajar district, where the Armenian armed forces committed the Bashlibel mass murder in 1993.

In addition, mass graves of Azerbaijanis were found in the Dashalti village near Shusha city, and the Farrukh height in the Khojaly district. Experts believe that the mass graves of Azerbaijanis killed by Armenian forces could be found in more locations in the Karabakh region.

Since the first Karabakh War, unprecedented massacres have been committed by the Armenian Armed Forces not only against Azerbaijani servicemen, but also against civilians, in just one night, on February 1992, 26, 613 civilians were brutally killed in the town of Khojaly.

We regret to state that along with baseless territorial claims against Azerbaijan, pursuing a policy of extreme hatred on racial, ethnic, religious grounds, instead of taking practical steps to stop the war crimes against our country and bring the perpetrators to justice for the past crimes, Armenia impedes security and the peace process in the region by instigating provocations that lead to confrontations between the two nations.

One must also not forget the important fact that the Armenian Armed Forces mined the territory of Azerbaijan, which they kept under occupation for 30 years, and that during the Second Karabakh War, they launched missile attacks on the Azerbaijani cities of Ganja, Barda, Mingachevir, Goranboy and Tartar, located dozens of kilometers from the front line, killing more than 100 civilians. The landmine threat caused by Armenia is a serious threat to the lives of people in the region today.

From November 2020 to today, up to 250 people have been victims of landmines, most of them civilians. The fact that the landmines discovered in the territories of Azerbaijan were produced in Armenia in 2021 is evidence that Armenia continues to commit war crimes against Azerbaijanis, on the one hand, by not fully delivering mine maps to Azerbaijan, and on the other, by burying new landmines.

By handing over accurate minefield maps to our country, Armenia should respect the norms of international humanitarian law and human rights and fulfill its obligations for ensuring sustainable peace and security in the region. Armenia, which carries out a sharp hatred policy on racial, ethnic, and religious grounds, while asserting unlawful territorial claims on Azerbaijan, instead of taking practical measures to prevent war crimes against our country and bringing the culprits to justice for previously committed crimes, creates an obstacle to security and peace-building process in the region by allowing provocations that lead to conflict between the peoples.

The Armenian Government has not yet taken any effective measures to prevent war crimes or to bring the relevant persons to justice for the crimes committed. However, in defiance of the trilateral statements signed by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Russian Federation and the agreements reached in Brussels brokered by President of the European Council Charles Michel, official Yerevan has not yet shared with Azerbaijan the landmine maps and information about the fate of up to 4,000 Azerbaijanis who went missing during the First Karabakh War.

Azerbaijan strongly assert that the international community must react adequately to these war crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice in order to prevent Armenia from committing similar criminal acts in the future.

The international community should know that Armenia carried out an anti-Azerbaijan intervention policy in the humanitarian area. We once again bring these facts to the attention of the UN, the European Union, the Council of Europe and their agencies, and other competent international and regional organizations.

We demand that Armenia’s war crimes be stopped and call for urgent legal action to bring to justice those responsible for the crimes against peace and humanity committed on ethnic grounds at various times. Armenia should be condemned, proper assessment be given on these crimes, and perpetrators should be brought into justice.


(The author is Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Daily Tribune)