THE STATEMENT of the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan with regard to the rocket shelling of Mingachevir city where Water Reservoir and Electric station are located
We once again bring to the attention of the world community that starting from September 27, 2020, the Armenian armed forces continue to fire heavily on densely populated civilian settlements, social, cultural facilities and strategic objects using heavy artillery, aircraft, special missile systems and prohibited weapons.
Thus, starting from 11 pm, October 04, 2020, according to the instructions of military-political administration of Armenia, that has not yet renounced its policy of occupation and aggressive actions, the armed forces of this country shelled from rockets the densely populated civilian settlements of Mingachevir city.
We stress especially that one of the missiles deliberately fired by the Armenian armed forces targeting at a power plant in Mingachevir, more than 100 km away from the area where the fighting took place, with the population of more than 100,000, fell in front of the power plant and the other near the house of civilians. Unfortunately, as a result of the rocket attacks on a private house, 5 people were hospitalized with various injuries, and the house was severely damaged.
We would like to inform you that Mingachevir, the industrial city of Azerbaijan, is of crucial importance from the strategic standpoint and the largest Water Reservoir and power plant in the South Caucasus region is located here. Targeting this reservoir and power plant could have serious environmental consequences for the whole South Caucasus region.
According to the Rio Declaration On Environment And Development (1992), the states shall therefore respect international law providing protection for the environment in times of armed conflict and cooperate in its further development, as necessary.
In this regard, we state that missile launch targeting Mingachevir reservoir and power block by Armenia, which severely violates the norms and principles of international law, including the norms of international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols, is a serious threat to the environment and energy supply not only in Azerbaijan but throughout the region.
We once again call on international organizations to demand from occupant Armenia to unconditionally refrain from the criminal acts that infringe on the right of the civilian population to live, also to a safe and healthy environment, which is a gross violation of human rights and freedoms and poses a risk of a profound environmental disaster for the region, to liberate Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent districts, which are historical territories of Azerbaijan, and to undertake urgent actions to establish international legal responsibility.
Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman)
of the Republic of Azerbaijan
October 5, 2020
This Statement is addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Security Council, UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Office of High Commissioner for Refugees, UN Human Rights Council, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, European Union, Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, International and European Ombudsman Institutions, Asian Ombudsman Association, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Ombudsman Association of its member states, Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, European Network of Ombudspersons for Children, International Peace Bureau, different ombudsmen and national human rights institutions, embassies of the Republic of Azerbaijan in foreign countries and the foreign embassies in Azerbaijan, as well as to the Azerbaijani Diasporas.