On September 29, during the discussion of the war unleashed by Azerbaijan in Artsakh on the Russian TV Rain channel (“Dozhd), among other false and propaganda allegations about the war, Azerbaijani writer Hamid Kherischi stated that the Azerbaijani army will not harm ordinary citizens after entering Nagorno Karabakh.
The TV host Pavel Lobkov asked the writer whether the Azerbaijani army would not commit genocide of the civilian Armenian population if it “returned or captured” the cities of Karabakh, as it happened in 1988 in Sumgait.
In response, Kherischi insisted that the current situation should not be compared with that of the 1990s. “Today we are dealing with a disciplined army. The troops conducting frontal battles are disciplined; they are governed from one center, where there is video surveillance and other control. I do not think that the Azerbaijani troops and soldiers can harm ordinary citizens, Armenians; by the way, our citizens,” the writer stated.
According to Kherischi, in the future Azerbaijan will introduce a peacekeeping policy. On the one hand, work will be done with the civilian population of Armenian origin, and on the other hand, the provisions of the Geneva Convention will be applied on war prisoners.
In reality, however, the facts of recent years point to the opposite. Since the 1994 ceasefire, official Baku has pursued an anti-Armenian policy, which is confirmed by numerous documented cases.
Civilian casualties during the April War
In the early morning of April 2, 2016, Azerbaijan launched a large-scale military operation against Artsakh. On the evening of April 3, “Hetq” newspaper and “Photolure” agency published shocking photos of the barbarity of Azerbaijani soldiers in the village of Talish. The Azerbaijanis killed Valera Khalapyan, who was not evacuated from the village, and his wife Razmela, as well as Valera Khalapyan’s 92-year-old mother, Marusya Khalapyan, tortured their bodies and cut off their ears.
It should be noted that the attack on Azerbaijan started by targeting the civilian population. The first victim was 12-year-old Vaghinak Grigoryan, who was killed on the way to school by an Azeri rocket launcher. His brother and friend who were with him were also injured.
The person who axed an Armenian officer while the latter was sleeping was declared a hero
Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov brutally killed Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan during a NATO English-language Partnership for Peace training course in Budapest in 2004, hitting the latter with an axe while he was sleeping. He intended to kill another Armenian attending the training, but the latter was rescued by his roommate.
As a result of the trial in Hungary, Safarov was sentenced to life imprisonment without the right to amnesty for the first 30 years. In 2012, Azerbaijan managed to obtain permission from Hungary for Safarov’s extradition. The officer was received as a national hero in Azerbaijan. The President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev pardoned the criminal. Moreover, his rank was raised to a major, he received a house and the salary accumulated during the 8 years.
It is noteworthy that the Azerbaijani Օmbudsman Elmira Teymur qizi Suleymanova stated that Safarov should become an example for the youth. In 2020, the International Court of Human Rights ruled that Azerbaijan had failed to secure the imprisonment of its officer for a crime of ethnic hatred, who was pardoned and promoted.
In other words, Azerbaijan has glorified the person who committed murder on grounds of hatred at the state level, which is included in the ECHR decision.
The beheading of Kyaram Sloyan, a conscript
In the early morning of April 2, 2016, Kyaram Sloyan, a Yezidi soldier, was killed in Talish. He was beheaded after his death. The Azerbaijanis got possession of the head, taking pictures with that part of the body and posting them on social networks. Days later, only with the mediation of the Red Cross, was it possible to bring back the head of a 20-year-old soldier. Kyaram was reburied eight days after his body was buried.
On May 1, 2016, the website of the President of Azerbaijan published a photo of Ilham Aliyev visiting one of the military units in Azerbaijan. The mentioned photos showed that Ilham Aliyev had met and awarded servicemen, among them Elnur Farzali, a serviceman of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, who had displayed Sloyan’s severed head in an Azerbaijani village.
It should be noted that the bodies of many Armenian servicemen were tortured after death. Two other servicemen, named Hayk Toroyan and Hrant Darbinyan, died by decapitation.
It should be added that the first victims of the hostilities that started on September 27, 2020 were civilians. An elderly woman and her 9-year-old granddaughter were killed in a rocket attack in Martuni on September 27.
Thus, in recent years, the Azerbaijani army and the authorities have adopted an anti-Armenian policy in both peaceful and military conditions, rewarding those who brutally killed Armenians.
Hence, the statement of the Azerbaijani writer addressed to the Russian audience that after the occupation of Artsakh by the Azerbaijani army the Azerbaijani government will adopt a peacekeeping and humanitarian policy does not correspond to reality, as it cannot be confirmed by any previous case.