The courage demonstrated by the servicemen of the Azerbaijani Army in the Patriotic War for the liberation of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the restoration of its territorial integrity, bravery and professionalism shown during military service led to a victory engraved in history with golden letters.
Numerous servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan have been awarded by the Orders of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan for their heroism in performing combat missions, and their bravery in military service.
Azerbaijani civilian population was shelled by Armenia from the first day of the counter-offensive operations aimed at the liberation of the occupied territories. However Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces instructed the Azerbaijani army to strike only at the legitimate military targets of the enemy on the battlefield, and to adhere to the norms and principles of international humanitarian law, including the requirements of the Geneva Conventions in relation to prisoners of war and the civilian population. Soldiers and officers of the Azerbaijani Army, guided by the instructions of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, during the liberation of our lands from occupation treated the civilian population, including women, children and the elderly, captured servicemen and religious figures, with care and attention, demonstrating the high culture and humanism of our people. This treatment was widely covered at the meetings of these persons with representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and through interviews with local and media outlets.
It is regrettable to note that mistakes in the understanding of the methods and techniques of struggle against the enemy by some servicemen under the influence of the severe psychological state caused by the war led to committing illegal acts that could overshadow the bravery and zeal shown by the Armed Forces, as well as the victory gained.
Thus, the video footage of Azerbaijani servicemen insulting the bodies of Armenian servicemen killed during hostilities, as well as inhumane treatment of captured Armenian servicemen spread in some media and social media pages were analyzed and studied by the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Military Prosecution Office of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Although some of the videos were found to be fake, there are serious doubts as to whether some of them are true and reflect reality.
In addition to the information earlier reported to mass media, we state that based on the materials collected in connection with this information criminal proceedings have been launched by the Military Prosecution Office under Article 115.2 (torture, cruel or inhumane treatment) and Article 245 (insulting acts on graves or corpses) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and intensive investigative measures have been carried out.
The investigation revealed reasonable suspicions that Rashad Aliyev and Gardashkhan Abishov, who served as junior sergeants in the military unit “N” of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan, committed offensive actions against the bodies of Armenian soldiers who died during the hostilities in Zangilan district, and recorded their actions on a smartphone and sent them to other people via social media.
There are also ground for suspicion that soldiers of the “N” military unit of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan Arzu Huseynov and Umid Aghayev committed insulting acts by destroying Armenian gravestones in the cemetery located in Madatli village of Khojavend district, and recorded their actions on a smartphone and sent them to other people through social networks.
R.Aliyev, G.Abishov, A.Huseynov and U.Aghayev were charged under relevant articles of the Criminal Code, and by a court decision, a measure of restraint – arrest was imposed against them.
Necessary research will be conducted on other videos spread on social media and the public will be provided with detailed information about the results.
The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Azerbaijan declares that the above-mentioned criminal acts committed by the servicemen of the Republic of Azerbaijan are unacceptable and contradict the mentality of the Azerbaijani people, which is tolerant, highly appreciates multicultural values and is historically distinguished by its humanism.
Persons who have committed similar violations will be brought to liability by taking measures provided by law.
In accordance with the recommendations of Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, public statements were made by law enforcement authorities to conduct investigations of criminal cases, related to these violations. However no investigation was conducted, no action was taken and no statement was made by the Armenian law enforcement agencies, including the Prosecutor General’s Office on killing 101 civilians, injuring 423 civilians, insulting actions by the Armenian Armed Forces, as well as by the Armenian servicemen on the bodies of Azerbaijani servicemen killed during the hostilities. Unfortunately, no action was also taken regarding the inhumane treatment of the captured Azerbaijani servicemen.
It should be noted that the prosecution authorities of the Republic of Azerbaijan are conducting the necessary and intensive investigative actions on all crimes related to videotapes depicting insulting actions on the corpses of Azerbaijani servicemen killed during the hostilities, including inhumane treatment of captured Azerbaijani servicemen, and killing and injuring Azerbaijani civilians. The Prosecutor General’s Office will take all possible measures to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice within the existing legal mechanism and international law.
At the same time, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Azerbaijan urges the Armenian law enforcement agencies to take similar measures, and in accordance with the norms and principles of international law calls for serious legal action on crimes committed against Azerbaijani citizens, for an open and fair investigation and for informing the public.