Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh on the Deliberate Attack on Medical Units in Stepanakert

28.10.2020

On October 28, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, backed by Turkey, attacked Stepanakert and Shushi. Civilian infrastructure, again became object of attack: complex of medical units, including the maternity hospital in Stepanakert were targeted. As a result of the attack, there have been casualties among civilians. The Republican Medical Centre located on the territory of the complex is the largest medical facility in Artsakh, where, among others, recently wounded French and Russian journalists, as well as Azerbaijani prisoners of war were treated.

Under international humanitarian law, civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attacks. Intentionally directing attacks against medical units constitutes a war crime. Today's attack on the maternity hospital in Stepanakert became another example of bold evidence of Azerbaijan's flagrant disrespect for international humanitarian law and has demonstrated that official Baku is ready to undertake any, even the most heinous crimes, to achieve its military-political goals.

Deliberate attacks on civilian objects, in particular, the medical unites in Martuni, Martakert and Stepanakert, the Holy Savior Church in Shushi, as well as the demonstrative atrocious killing of captives are just episodes in a series of widespread and systematic crimes directed against the civilian population of the Republic of Artsakh. The acts of violence committed by Azerbaijan against the people of Artsakh have no justification and deserve the most severe international condemnation in order to prevent their recurrence in the future.

The deliberate attack on the medical complex in Stepanakert was in fact the cynical response of the Azerbaijani military-political leadership to the peace efforts of the presidents of Russia, France and the United States aimed at ceasing hostilities and de-escalating tensions in the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict zone.

We emphasize again that the international recognition of the Republic of Artsakh, as well as the adoption of harsher sanctions against Azerbaijan and its military-political leadership are the optimal and effective non-military way to put an end to the crimes against humanity committed by Azerbaijan.

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