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Armenia Accuses Azerbaijan of Teaching Children to Kill Armenians in ICJ Hearing

Armenia Accuses Azerbaijan of Teaching Children to Kill Armenians in ICJ Hearing

Yeghishe Kirakosyan, the Head of the Office of The Representative on International Legal Matters, delivered fierce remarks during a hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on April 16, 2024. Kirakosyan addressed the court regarding Armenia's application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (CERD) in its case against Azerbaijan.

Armenia Accuses Azerbaijan of Teaching Children to Kill Armenians in ICJ Hearing

Armenia's representative highlighted Azerbaijan's alleged egregious policies and practices of racial discrimination against ethnic Armenians. Kirakosyan asserted that Azerbaijan's government has perpetuated a climate of racist hatred against Armenians, accusing Azerbaijani schools of teaching children to hate and kill Armenians through biased textbooks. He also criticized the state media for disseminating hate speech and public officials for dehumanizing Armenians, calling for their complete elimination.

Kirakosyan pointed to the 2020 war over Nagorno-Karabakh as a manifestation of Azerbaijan's alleged racial hatred, stating that Azerbaijan's goal was to eliminate and expel ethnic Armenians from their homeland. He quoted President Aliyev, who purportedly revealed that "hatred for the enemy... was driving us forward" during the conflict. Kirakosyan described how Azerbaijani soldiers allegedly engaged in systematic murder, torture, and abuse of ethnic Armenians, with some reportedly filming themselves committing violent acts while shouting racial slurs.

Armenia Accuses Azerbaijan of Teaching Children to Kill Armenians in ICJ Hearing

The aftermath of the conflict saw Azerbaijan blocking the Lachin Corridor, preventing ethnic Armenians from recieving food and other essential needs into Nagorno-Karabakh. Kirakosyan accused Azerbaijan of launching an unprovoked attack in September 2023, resulting in hundreds of deaths and the forced displacement of over 100,000 ethnic Armenians from their ancestral homeland. He lamented that nearly 200 individuals remain missing, leaving their families in anguish.

Despite Armenia's efforts to seek justice through the ICJ, Azerbaijan purportedly remains defiant, flouting the court's orders and continuing its alleged campaign of ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh. Kirakosyan condemned Azerbaijan's attempts to discredit Armenia's claims and introduce historical grievances unrelated to the court's jurisdiction.

In response to Azerbaijan's objections, Armenia's legal team argued that Azerbaijan's claims lack merit and fail to undermine Armenia's case. They dismissed Azerbaijan's arguments regarding negotiation requirements and the scope of the CERD, asserting that Armenia's grievances fall within the court's jurisdiction.

Armenia's presentation before the ICJ seeks to hold Azerbaijan accountable for racial discrimination and human rights abuses against ethnic Armenians. Kirakosyan emphasized the importance of these proceedings in upholding fundamental human rights, seeking justice for victims, and ensuring accountability for perpetrators.

The hearings are ongoing, with Armenia's legal team set to present further arguments challenging Azerbaijan's objections. The outcome of the ICJ proceedings could have significant implications for relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.


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