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12/16/2020 Nagorno-Karabakh (International Christian Concern) –  Two elderly Armenian Christian men beheaded by Azerbaijani armed forces have been identified.  They were residents in the villages of Madatashen and Azokh in Nagorno-Karabakh (Armenian: Artsakh).

The first victim was named Genadi Petrosyan, was 69 years old, and was from Madatshen. He escaped Azerbaijan to Nagorno-Karabakh in the late 1980s, a decision that corresponded with Armenian pogroms in Azerbaijan during the late 1980s/early 1990s. The second victim was named Yuri Asryan, who was 82 years old and was from Azokh. Both men were civilians.

Hundreds of videos have emerged of violent war crimes committed by Azerbaijani armed forces against the Armenian community. These crimes bear a striking resemblance to tactics used during the 1915 genocide against Armenian Christians.  Indeed, Turkey (who supports Azerbaijan during this conflict and who was the main instigator of the 1915 genocide) has made it clear through rhetoric that this conflict is driven by a desire for Turkish-Islamic expansionism.

Azerbaijan has arrested four servicemen accused of war crimes (not these two crimes specifically), but also seeks to distract from international pressure by making comparisons to the actions of other countries. Azerbaijan needs to take responsibility for its own instigating role in the conflict and for its own war crimes, before pointing at others. It is also important to note that Azerbaijan ranks 168 out of 180 on RSF’s press freedom index. Armenia, on the other hand, rates 61 out of 180.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]