Violence against civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh must come to an end

Aftermath of shelling in Stepanakert (Nagorno-Karabakh) on October 4, 2020 Aftermath of shelling in Stepanakert (Nagorno-Karabakh) on October 4, 2020 © David Ghahramanyan/NKR InfoCenter/PAN Photo/Handout via REUTERS

05 October 2020

The NGOs network INEW urged the parties to the conflict to stop using heavy explosive weapons in populated areas, injuring and killing civilians 

The long-standing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the contended region of Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on 27 September, when Azerbaijani armed forces launched multiple artillery and aerial attacks in the region, claiming to be enacting a counteroffensive to a shelling carried out by Armenian forces. 

According to official data, 80 civilians have been wounded and 16 were killed since 27 September. The use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas by both sides also destroyed or damaged hundreds of civilian houses and infrastructures – such as schools, hospitals, roads and electricity networks. 

International humanitarian law prohibits attacks on civilians and civilian targets during a conflict. However, the use of heavy explosive weapons against military targets in a populated area might violate international humanitarian law as well since, due to their wide-area effects, these weapons are designed to be used only in an open battlefield. Thus, the risk of harming civilians is great if heavy explosive weapons are used in a populated area. The International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW), a non-governmental organization partnership, underlined the urgent need for new international standards against the use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas. 

 

To read more, please visit:

http://www.inew.org/use-of-heavy-explosive-weapons-in-towns-and-cities-in-nagorno-karabakh-conflict-must-stop/ 

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54407436

https://www.icrc.org/en/document/nagorno-karabakh-conflict-icrc-condemns-attacks-causing-civilian-deaths-and-injuries

https://www.crisisgroup.org/content/nagorno-karabakh-conflict-visual-explainer

 

Author: Margherita Curti; Editor: Matteo Consiglio

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