Official says Human Rights Watch is ‘unaware’ of Azerbaijan’s landmine problem

Politics 10:10 28.11.2023

Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organization that is engaged in the protection of human rights globally, conducts and releases research on this topic, claiming that it is not aware of the international calls of Azerbaijan regarding the problem of landmines, Ednews informs.

The official of the organization said that they were not aware of the problem in response to Report’s inquiry.

Louis Charbonneau, the United Nations director at Human Rights Watch, claimed that they are unaware of the ecological disaster Azerbaijan is facing in the 21st century and the terrible legacy left by Armenia during the 30-year occupation of the country: “We are not aware of this issue. I can't find any research on this either, but I will ask my colleagues.”

Although Charbonneau promised to investigate the questions addressed to him with his colleagues, Report’s next inquiry has been remaining unanswered for two months.

During the war and in the post-war period, state institutions and non-governmental organizations repeatedly prepared many reports on violations of international law, including the norms and principles of international humanitarian law, by Armenia and shared them with Human Rights Watch officials, but the information was not reflected in the report published by the organization. In those reports, detailed information about more than 350 people hit by landmines in Azerbaijan after the tripartite joint statement of November 10, 2020, was mentioned.

Unfortunately, Human Rights Watch never takes any steps to investigate the human rights violations mentioned in those official reports but instead continues to publish biased reports. It is not surprising that the international organization, which has repeatedly released biased statements about Azerbaijan, has no information about the mines and unexploded military ammunition that killed hundreds of civilians, including journalists, mine sweepers, soldiers, and children, after the Second Karabakh War. Because all the reports published by the international organization about Azerbaijan and Armenia serve the interests of Armenians.

Analyst: “Human Rights Watch’s indifferent attitude to what is happening is an indicator of anti-Azerbaijani bias.”

In an interview with Report, Paolo von Schirach, founder and editor-in-chief of the Schirach Report News Agency, who visited Karabakh in June this year, assessed Human Rights Watch’s failure to conduct an investigation into the landmines buried in Azerbaijan during the long-term illegal occupation of Karabakh by the Armenian armed forces and its indifference to what happened as an indicator of bias against Azerbaijan: “When I visited the region, I saw with my own eyes that the anti-personnel mines buried by Armenians are cheap and deadly tools. The alleged lack of information on this issue is not credible because the official Baku has prepared and disseminated enough information about what happened. In particular, the non-cooperation of the Armenian government in sharing maps of minefields is delaying the solution to the biggest problem in the region. If Armenia agrees, demining operations, which take many years and are quite expensive, can proceed much more quickly.

It is very unfortunate that the Human Rights Watch organization ignores the biggest disaster in the region and takes a strange and non-objective approach.

Ignoring the vast minefields left behind by the Armenians and ignoring their responsibility is very consistent with the narratives accepted by most analysts that the Armenians are the victims and the Azerbaijani government is the aggressor. It is not right to ignore this and believe the made-up stories.”

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