Bodies of Armenian Soldiers were tortured: the Armenian side will apply to UN and the European Court of Human Rights
Though there are traces of torture on the bodies of 18 soldiers returned to Nagorno Karabakh Defense Army by Azerbaijan, it is necessary to wait for the expert opinion. In any case the Armenian side does not intend to be limited by the expertise only. A corresponding legal procedure will start about the crimes conducted against Nagorno Karabakh by Azerbaijani forces. Armenia will apply to the international institutions from UN to the European Court of Human Rights. Senior Assistant of Defense Minister Alik Avetisyan said about this at Media Center on April 13.

Alik Avetisyan, Chair of Protection of Human Rights and Public Affairs NA Committee Elinar Vardanyan, Executive Director of “Foundation against Violation of Law” NGO Larisa Alaverdyan, RA Member of Parliament Edmon Maruqyan participated in the discussion on “Bodies of 18 Armenian Soldiers were Returned Abused: Public and State Reaction” at Media Center. 

Avetisyan said that it is evident that there are violations of international humanitarian norms as there are violation traces and outrageous facts on the bodies.  “Now an expertise, facts collection and documenting are conducted. It is important to clarify what legal mechanisms can be used not only in Armenia but on the international level. International humanitarian norms are more generalized than the national legislation about the issue of body outrage,” Avetisyan said and did not exclude that there were cases when the soldier was alive and conducted to tortures.  

“All these questions will be explores as a result of expertise but this is an important direction that should be taken into account,” Avetisyan said.

Larisa Alaverdyan emphasized the importance of coordinated work of state and public sectors in raising awareness about the torture of soldiers’ bodies. “We should work deeply, clearly and regularly with the international institutions. For example, UN has numerous mechanisms – commissions, committees that have many ways of intervention. There are also more simple variants such as making reports that will refer to the crimes. It is also possible to make Baku conduct some activities, including preventive,” she clarified.

Elinar Vardanyan said that serious diplomatic and coordination work should be done now in order the Armenian side is ready for the Azerbaijani feedback in all directions.

Vardanyan thinks that efforts should be made to explore whether the captives were also tortured or not. “If the fact that the Armenian captive soldiers were tortured is proved another legal assessment should be made. Now we should concentrate on this issue and explore it. If this fact is proved, international norms should be applied,” she said.

Edmon Maruqyan thinks that it is necessary to study the issue and collect facts after which the Armenian side will apply to UN and ECHR. “UN can be applied only by a state, ECHR can be applied by individuals whom lawyers can assist to make the applications,” Maruqyan said and added that Armenia can apply to Hague International Court in spite of the fact that Yerevan and Baku have not ratified the Rome Statute. In this case an indirect application can be made. “Armenia can apply to the UN Security Council by the request to apply to Hague International Court,” he said and added that this scenario is less perspective. He does not think that the UN Security Council will apply to Hague International Court. “They may explain that the range of the crimes were not large to apply to Hague International Court,” Edmon Maruqyan said.  

Arshaluys Mghdesyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

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