No:003/23, Press Release on Azerbaijan’s application against Armenia in the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
Azerbaijan, in response to Armenia’s ongoing and deliberate violations of Azerbaijanis’ human rights, has submitted a second request to the International Court of Justice, to take urgent measures in the framework of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
In particular, new evidences exist on Armenia’s continuing planting of landmines and placing booby-traps in the houses on the territory of Azerbaijan since 2021. These landmines and booby traps that have been planted in or near civilian settlements from which Azerbaijanis were forced to flee over 30 years ago as a result of Armenia’s illegal occupation prevent displaced families and communities from returning to their homes.
Armenia has continued military provocations in grave violation of the Trilateral Statement, and since August 2022 over 2,700 landmines produced in Armenia in 2021 have been discovered in Azerbaijan. There are evidences that these landmines have been planted after Armenia agreed within the Trilateral Statement to cease all hostilities, withdraw its forces from Azerbaijan, and allow the return of displaced Azerbaijanis to the liberated territories. Over half of the aforementioned landmines were discovered in civilian areas to which Azerbaijani displaced persons are due to return. In addition, Armenia has been openly using the humanitarian Lachin road to transport these landmines and other weaponries.
Targeting civilian areas with landmines is a provocation that not only endangers the lives of innocent civilians, but threatens the peace agreement that Azerbaijan remains committed to achieve. Just three weeks ago, seven Azerbaijanis, including four civilians engaged in reconstruction work, were injured in a landmine blast in the Kalbajar District, and one Azerbaijani was killed.
Azerbaijan requested that the ICJ order Armenia to immediately take all necessary steps to enable the prompt, safe, and effective demining of regions to which Azerbaijani civilians will return, and cease its efforts to target civilian areas with landmines and other explosives, as well as the use of the Lachin road for this purpose.
Azerbaijan will continue efforts to hold Armenia accountable for violations of international human rights law.