IPHR is concerned about the recent escalation of violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. On 27 September the ongoing conflict in the South Caucasus between Armenia and Azerbaijan erupted into its fiercest clash since 2016. As the situation exacerbates and the number of civilian casualties rises, IPHR joins international calls for restraint and a return to negotiations.
Of particular concern for IPHR are reports of civilian casualties and use, on both sides, of heavy artillery weapons, in a clear breach of international humanitarian law. At the time of writing, Azerbaijan has reported six civilian deaths and 19 civilian injuries. No information has yet been released in regards to deaths and injuries of military personnel. The Armenian Defence Ministry has confirmed the deaths of 59 members of its armed forces and at least two civilians.
In this context, IPHR urges all parties involved in this conflict to ensure the rights of civilians, including both Armenia and Azerbaijan’s obligation to secure the safe evacuation of civilians and provide effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population. Moreover, IPHR urges all concerned parties to abide by their international commitments in respecting international humanitarian law. The organisation calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities, a de-escalation of violence and a return to dialogue.