EU Special Representative Toivo Klaar

EU Envoy, US Call for Probes into Videos Exacerbating Tensions Between Armenia, Azerbaijan

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YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — The European Union’s envoy for the South Caucasus and Georgia has called for investigations into videos that appear to show potential war crimes being committed by Azerbaijan and Armenia in recent clashes that have threatened a fragile cease-fire agreement ending the worst fighting between the two neighbors since a 2020 war over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Toivo Klaar, the EU special representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, said in two tweets on October 3 that the videos he received, which have not been independently verified, need to be investigated and, “if authentic” the perpetrators “need to be held responsible.”

“The conflict has left deep wounds on both sides and to heal accountability is needed,” he said.

The latest claims started on October 2 when gruesome video posted on social media appeared to show Azerbaijani soldiers executing several Armenian prisoners of war at close range.

The United States on Monday, October 3, called for a “full and impartial investigation” into the apparent killing by Azerbaijani troops of Armenian soldiers taken prisoner during recent border clashes.

“The United States is deeply disturbed by recent reports of Azerbaijani soldiers executing unarmed Armenian prisoners,” said Ned Price, the spokesman for the US State Department.

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“We call for a full and impartial investigation. Those responsible for any atrocities must be held to account,” he wrote on Twitter.

Price clearly reacted to a video posted on Azerbaijani social media accounts on Sunday. It shows several Armenian servicemen being shot dead by their captors at what looks like a frontline position.

The video caused shock and indignation in Armenia, with the authorities in Yerevan accusing the Azerbaijani army of committing yet another war crime.

Armenia’s human rights ombudswoman said later on Sunday that it was filmed on September 13 hours after Azerbaijani forces attacked and seized some of the Armenian army positions along the border between the two states.

Azerbaijan’s Office of the Prosecutor-General said on Monday that it has ordered an inquiry into the gruesome footage.

Topics: War Crimes
People: Toivo Klaar
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