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Azerbaijan: efforts to deal with the past should become the priority to ensure reconciliation and lasting peace

Letter
Strasbourg 27/04/2021
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Azerbaijan: efforts to deal with the past should become the priority to ensure reconciliation and lasting peace

In a letter to the President of Azerbaijan, made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, urges to take utmost care not to perpetuate and multiply the already deeply-running grievances between the communities affected by the conflict in and around Nagorno-Karabakh.

In this context, the Commissioner expresses concern at the recent inauguration of the ‘Trophy Park’ in Baku, which reportedly displays Armenian military equipment taken as a trophy during the war and shows dehumanising scenes, including wax mannequins depicting dead and dying Armenians soldiers. “I consider such images highly disturbing and humiliating” said the Commissioner. “This kind of display can only further intensify and strengthen long-standing hostile sentiments and hate speech, and multiply and promote manifestations of intolerance.”

She therefore calls on the President to take a firm stance against any rhetoric or actions which lead to triggering animosity or hatred and instead, provide his full support and political backing towards efforts aimed at promoting peace and reconciliation between the populations affected by the conflict, particularly bearing in mind the wellbeing of the future generations of Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The Commissioner concludes the letter by confirming her availability and willingness to travel to Azerbaijan at the earliest convenience, provided that, in accordance with her mandate, she has access to all places of human rights relevance within the country’s internationally recognised borders.