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Azerbaijan is required to ensure the rights of ethnic Armenians in Karabakh.
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Azerbaijan is required to ensure the rights of ethnic Armenians in Karabakh.

The UN-appointed Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, Morris Tidball-Binz, has stated that Azerbaijan must conduct a swift and impartial investigation into any reported or suspected violations of the right to life during its recent military offensive. This includes the deaths of numerous individuals, including peacekeepers.

In the past few days, numerous individuals, including older adults, women, and children, have relocated to Armenia from the Karabakh Economic Region in Azerbaijan.

On Tuesday, Secretary-General António Guterres expressed serious concern regarding the displacement.

“It’s essential that the rights of the displaced populations be protected and that they receive the humanitarian support they are owed,” Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told journalists at UN Headquarters.

Long-running conflict

The dispute over the region between Armenia and Azerbaijan has been ongoing for over 30 years. However, a truce was reached three years ago through a Trilateral Statement after six weeks of conflict, with the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia agreeing to the deployment of numerous Russian peacekeepers.

During the recent escalation of violence and the initial arrival of refugees in Armenia, the leader of the United Nations urged for complete access for humanitarian workers to reach those in need.

Global regulations must be implemented.

According to Mr. Tidball-Binz, inquiries should follow global guidelines, specifically the Revised UN Manual on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, also referred to as the Minnesota Protocol.

The investigations must be conducted promptly and must be comprehensive, unbiased, independent, and transparent.

The Special Rapporteur stated that they are prepared to offer technical support to the authorities in order to ensure that they comply with their international obligations regarding humanitarian law and human rights. They also emphasized the importance of properly investigating any potential unlawful deaths, in accordance with established standards of forensic best practice.

UN Special Rapporteurs and other experts are not employed by the UN and maintain their independence from any government or organization. They fulfill their roles in a personal capacity and do not receive payment for their contributions.

The UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, responded to questions from journalists in New York and stated that the UN has been in contact with the Government of Azerbaijan regarding matters concerning global laws and humanitarian values. He also mentioned that the Government has publicly assured that all individuals in the area will be safeguarded.

Alarming images

He also reported a statement released on Wednesday by Alice Wairimu Nderitu, the Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide.

“She expressed her deep worry regarding the current state of affairs in the South Caucasus region…She expressed her alarm at the sight of individuals fleeing due to the threat of violence based on their identity.”

Ms. Nderitu urged for every possible action to be taken in order to safeguard the well-being and rights of the ethnic Armenian community who still reside in the region, as well as those who have departed.

Emergency shelter, ‘critical’

During a press conference held in Geneva earlier today, the leader of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies division mentioned that a significant portion of the Karabakh region’s population has relocated within a brief period of time.

They do not have their usual medication with them. They have not eaten and are experiencing thirst. There is a potential for dehydration and susceptibility to illness and psychological distress that often accompanies it. In my opinion, providing emergency shelter is essential, especially with the cold nighttime temperatures.