United Nations General Assembly
30 October 1996


General Assembly

Fifty-first session


Agenda item 110


Letter dated 25 October 1996 from the Permanent Representative

of Azerbaijan to the United Nations addressed to the


On instructions from my Government, I have the honour to transmit

to you herewith information on the grave violations of human rights

committed during the course of the aggression of the Republic of

Armenia against the Azerbaijani Republic (see annex), together with

lists of missing women, children and the elderly.* (* Available for

consultation in the files of the Secretariat.)

I should be grateful if you would have the present letter and

above-mentioned information circulated as a document of the General

Assembly under agenda item 110.

(Signed) Eldar KOULIYEV


Permanent Representative


[Original: Russian]

Information on the grave violations of human rights committed

during the course of the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan

The armed aggression of the Republic of Armenia against the

Azerbaijani Republic pursuant to its policy of violent acquisition of

territory and its plans to establish a "Greater Armenia" has resulted

in gross and flagrant violations of human rights which fall within the

category of crimes against humanity.

The armed hostilities against Azerbaijan were preceded by

anti-constitutional actions in the Nagorny Karabakh region of

Azerbaijan perpetrated by separatist groups receiving outside support;

forming the backdrop to these actions were certain decisions taken by

the Armenian authorities in contravention of international law. Of

these decisions, the most notorious is the resolution "Reunification

of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic and Nagorny Karabakh"

adopted by the Armenian Parliament on 1 December 1989. Moreover, in

Armenia's declaration of sovereignty of 23 August 1990, part of the

territory of another State - the Nagorny Karabakh region of Azerbaijan

- is recognized as an integral part of the Republic of Armenia. These

decisions by the Armenian Parliament were enacted by its armed forces

with the widespread use of mercenary bands and a sudden upsurge in

terrorist activity by the Armenian special services and terrorist

organizations against sovereign Azerbaijan with a view to wresting

away part of its age-old lands. All-out hostilities began at the end

of 1991 and the start of 1992 when Armenian armed formations initiated

combat operations in the Nagorny Karabakh region of Azerbaijan using

the very latest weapons systems. Since May 1992 their armed forces

have made incursions beyond the borders of the former Nagorny Karabakh

Autonomous Region into other parts of the country.

As a result of more than eight years of war, approximately 20 per

cent of the entire territory of Azerbaijan, comprising Nagorny

Karabakh and an area four times bigger than that region, has been

occupied and held by the Armenian armed forces.

A chronological list of the seizure of Azerbaijani towns and

districts follows:

28 February 1992 - Khojaly

8 May 1992 - Shusha

18 May 1992 - Lachin

3 April 1993 - Kelbajar

28 June 1993 - Agdere

23 July 1993 - Agdam

23 August 1993 - Fizuli

26 August 1993 - Djebrail

30 September 1993 - Kubatly

28 October 1993 - Zangelan and Goradiz

It should be noted in particular that the Agdere and Agdam

districts of Azerbaijan were seized by Armenian armed forces following

the adoption of Security Council resolution 822 (1993) of 30 April

1993, which condemned the occupation of the Kelbajar district; the

Fizuli district was seized after the adoption of Security Council

resolution 853 (1993) of 29 July 1993 condemning the seizure of the

Agdam district; and the Djebrail and Kubatly districts were seized

after the adoption of Security Council resolution 874 (1993) of

14 October 1993. In its resolution 884 (1993) of 11 November 1993,

the Council condemned the occupation of the Zangelan district and the

city of Goradiz, attacks on civilians and bombardments of the

territory of the Azerbaijani Republic. In all the above-mentioned

resolutions, the Council underscored respect for the sovereignty,

territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of the

Azerbaijani Republic, and the inadmissibility of using force to

acquire territory. It also demanded the immediate cessation of armed

hostilities and hostile acts, and the immediate, full and

unconditional withdrawal of all occupying forces from the occupied

areas of Azerbaijan. Despite the unequivocal demands of the Security

Council, the Republic of Armenia is today still holding on to occupied

Azerbaijani territory and increasing its military presence there.

As a result of the aggression and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis

from the territory of Armenia proper and from the occupied part of the

territory of Azerbaijan, there are currently over 1 million refugees

and displaced persons in Azerbaijan. A total of 900 settlements have

been looted and destroyed. Over 9 million square metres of civilian

housing, state enterprises and social facilities have been destroyed

and burnt. The total cost of the destroyed housing and the property

removed therefrom amounts to tens of billions of dollars. An

extremely serious humanitarian situation has developed in Azerbaijan.

Every year hundreds of elderly people, women and children die in

refugee camps as a result of diseases and epidemics.

The Armenian armed forces, backed by mercenary formations and

Armenian terrorist groups, have killed over 18,000 people and wounded

or maimed over 50,000. Several thousand people are missing and

extrajudicial executions and mass shootings of civilians have been

carried out. Kidnapped hostages held in Armenia and the occupied

areas of Azerbaijan are doing forced labour and being made to endure

inhumane treatment, beatings, torture and other gross violations of

their human rights.

According to information from the State Commission of the

Azerbaijani Republic on prisoners of war, hostages and missing

persons, as a result of Armenian aggression these categories comprised

4,674 Azerbaijani citizens as at 1 March 1996. This total includes

314 women, 60 children and 252 elderly people (lists of missing women,

children and elderly people are attached). The State Commission knows

the whereabouts of over 900 of these people, including 39 women, 12

children and 39 elderly people, in the territory of the Republic of

Armenia and the occupied Azerbaijani territories. The vast majority

of them are being detained by the Armenian side without the knowledge

of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and therefore

do not appear on that organization's lists.

The hostages and prisoners of war held by the Armenians, many of

whom are considered missing persons since they are being concealed

from the ICRC, are forced to do heavy physical labour, subjected to

beatings and torture, and the sick and wounded are denied basic

medical assistance. The State Commission has learnt that 145

Azerbaijanis have died in Armenian captivity. Four people, who

endured indescribable degradation and suffering, died shortly after

being released.

Ethnic cleansing of Armenian territory of its

Azerbaijani inhabitants

The widespread settlement of Transcaucasia by Armenians began

after tsarist Russia's military conquest of the Caucasus. Taking

advantage of the changed demographic situation, the Armenians, under

the tutelage of the rulers of tsarist Russia and, later, the communist

leaders of the Soviet Union, encroached on the native Azerbaijani

population in various parts of the region.

It is a matter of historical fact that in 1828-1829 alone, 130,000

Armenians were resettled out of Middle Eastern countries into the area

now forming the Republic of Armenia; another 600,000 were resettled


By 1918, the number of Azerbaijanis in what is now Armenia stood

at 575,000 - more than a third of all the inhabitants of the area.

But as a result of the Armenian Government's deliberate policy of

expelling the Azerbaijani population, there remains today in Armenia

not a single Azerbaijani out of that half-million-strong community.

Between December 1917 and the end of June 1918, Armenian army

units plundered and burnt 200 Azerbaijani villages in Erevan province.

The surviving inhabitants fled to the mountains, where they died of

cold and starvation. Over that period, Armenian troops occupied the

whole of the Surmalin district and parts of the Erevan, Echmiadzin and

Sharur districts, which they purged of Azerbaijanis by force of arms.

Throughout Armenia between 1918 and 1920, Azerbaijanis were

subjected to violence of unimaginable savagery. Sixty Azerbaijani

villages were destroyed and all their male inhabitants killed in the

districts of Igdir and Echmiadzin; in Geichin province, 22 villages

were destroyed and 60,000 inhabitants killed; in Yeni Bayazid, 84

villages and 15,000 homes were destroyed. Over the summer and autumn

of 1918, 115 Azerbaijani villages and hamlets in the district of

Zangezur were destroyed; 7,729 Azerbaijanis were brutally murdered -

3,257 men, 2,276 women and 2,196 children.

Forced deportations and mass killings of the peaceable Azerbaijani

population continued into 1920. The remnants of the Azerbaijani

population in Erevan province and the Zangezur and Echmiadzin

districts were driven out or annihilated, and their villages ploughed

into the ground.

Research has shown that around 2 million Azerbaijanis and members

of other ethnic groups were killed, wounded or forcibly expelled over

this period.

One of the leading figures in the Kremlin, A. Mikoyan, played a

major role in the execution of the Armenian nationalists' plans for

the ethnic cleansing of Armenia. Making use of his influence over

Stalin, he secured the signature of the "little father of the peoples"

on decrees by the Council of Ministers of the Union of Soviet

Socialist Republics No. 4083 of 23 December 1947, "Resettlement of

collective farmers and other Azerbaijani inhabitants from the Armenian

SSR to the Kur-Arax Depression in the Azerbaijani SSR", and No. 754 of

10 March 1948, "Action to resettle collective farmers and other

Azerbaijani inhabitants from the Armenian SSR to the Kur-Arax

Depression in the Azerbaijani SSR". Under these decrees, during the

period 1948-1951 more than 100,000 Azerbaijanis were forcibly

resettled from their historical homelands - the mountainous regions of

Armenia - to the then waterless steppes of Mugan and the Mil plateau.

Many of them could not withstand the ordeal and perished.

The forcing of the Azerbaijanis out of Armenia was accompanied by

flagrant discrimination in breach of their constitutional rights and a

refusal to cater to their national and cultural interests. Hundreds

of thousands of the Azerbaijanis who remained in Armenia until 1988,

surviving as compact groups, displayed none of the hallmarks even of

national cultural autonomy. Attempts to so much as mention this were

promptly, roughly and savagely suppressed. In essence, access for

Azerbaijanis in Armenia to employment in state entities was barred.

In the winter of 1988, a fresh bout of ethnic cleansing began as

the culmination of a deliberate policy to destroy all trace of the

very existence of Azerbaijanis in Armenia. Under instructions from,

and with the blessing of, the Armenian authorities, the remaining

40,897 Azerbaijani families (185,519 individuals) were forcibly

deported from their historical homelands within the present-day

Armenian State, and left without homes or belongings.

The mass expulsion was accompanied by killings and maimings. In

the space of just three days, from 27 to 29 November 1988, pogroms in

the Armenian towns of Gugark, Spitak and Stepanavan killed 33


In all, according to figures from the State Prosecutors's Office

of the Azerbaijani Republic, 216 Azerbaijanis died during the ethnic

cleansing in Armenian territory in 1988-1989; 49 froze to death,

seeking safety from reprisals in the mountains; 41 died of savage

beatings; 35 were killed after torture; 115 were burnt alive; 16 were

shot; 10, unable to endure the humiliation, died of heart attacks; 2

were killed right in hospital by their Armenian doctors; 3 were

drowned; 1 was hanged; 1, not wishing to die an agonizing death, took

his own life; 1 was electrocuted; 2 were beheaded; 29 were

deliberately run over; 3 died in hospital because they were not given

medical attention; and a further 8 were abducted and vanished without


The majority of the dead were children, women and elderly people.

They included 5 infants and 18 children of various ages. Seven-year-

old Zokhra Nabieva was burnt alive. Three-year-old Rakhman Mamedov

was not given the doctor's attention he needed, and subsequently died.

Seven children froze to death, two died after savage beatings, two

were shot. Elman Aliev, three years old, suffered a heart attack.

Six were unable to withstand brutal torture and died; three were run


Fifty-seven Azerbaijani women came to a tragic end on Armenian

soil. Seven were beaten to death, five froze, four died under

torture, three of heart attacks, two under the wheels of cars; one was

decapitated, one was drowned, one was burnt, two died of gunshot

wounds for which they did not receive the necessary medical attention,

and one was killed by doctors in hospital. The remainder disappeared

without trace and are probably dead, given than there has been no news

of them for a long time now.

Sixty elderly Azerbaijanis (over 60 years of age) also died during

their expulsion from Armenia, among them 20 women. In most cases

their deaths resulted from torture, bullet wounds, heart attacks,

beatings and frostbite. Gyulsum Aliev, aged 76, Khanum Iskenderov,

aged 73, Mekhrali Aliev, aged 68, Garib Bairamov, aged 67 and Leila

Huseinova, aged 63, were burnt. A doctor killed Hasan Ellazov, aged

68, in hospital. The most widespread atrocities occurred in the Gukar

district, where 22 Azerbaijanis lost their lives, 13 of them being

burnt to death. Crimes against the Azerbaijani population were also

committed in the Kalinin, Goris, Stepanavan, Vardenis, Masis, Spitak,

Ararat, Kirovakan, Ijevan, Krasnoselsk, Ekhegnadzor, Amasia, Kafan,

Abovyan, Sevan and Noyemberian districts of Armenia.

Virtually all the attacks on Azerbaijani settlements had the

blessing of the official Armenian authorities and were commanded by

local leaders and responsible figures or by members of the local law-

enforcement bodies.

During the forcible expulsion of the Azerbaijanis, hundreds of

historical relics testifying to the fact that Azerbaijanis had for

centuries belonged on the land in what is today Armenia were either

destroyed or altered to look Armenian. Islamic places of worship and

the graves in Azerbaijani cemeteries were defiled; mosques and tombs

were damaged or broken up for building materials.

To erase from history the fact that Azerbaijanis had lived in

Armenia, the names of some 2,000 towns and villages that formerly bore

Azerbaijani names have been changed; 465 villages were renamed between

1935 and 1973, and 97 in April 1991.

The concluding, tragic chord had been played in a meticulously

planned campaign of physical extermination of the Azerbaijanis, once

the most populous of the national minorities in the Republic of





Arbitrary and extrajudicial executions and mass shootings


One of the most heinous crimes against the Azerbaijani people was

the brutal annihilation of hundreds of blameless inhabitants of the

town of Khojaly, in the Nagorny Karabakh region of the Azerbaijani

Republic, which was taken by Armenian troops on the night of

25/26 February 1992. The Armenian armed forces and mercenary units

spared virtually none of those who had been unable to flee Khojaly and

the surrounding area. In the words of the journalist

Chingiz Mustafaev, among the dead were "... dozens upon dozens of

children between 2 and 15 years old, women and old people, in most

cases shot at point-blank range in the head. The position of the

bodies indicated that the people had been killed in cold blood,

calculatedly, without any sign of a struggle or of having tried to

escape. Some had been taken aside and shot singly; many had been

killed as whole families at once. Some corpses displayed several

wounds, one of which was invariably in the head, suggesting that the

wounded had been finished off. Some children were found with severed

ears; the skin had been cut from the left side of an elderly woman's

face; and men had been scalped. There were corpses that had clearly

been robbed. The first time we arrived at the scene of the shootings

of 28 February, accompanied by two military helicopters, we saw from

the air an open area about one kilometre across which was strewn with

corpses almost everywhere ..." (Khojaly - The Last Day, Baku,

Azerbaijan publishing house, 1992)

An inhabitant of Khojaly, Djanan Orudjev, also provided

information on the many victims, chiefly women and children. His 16-

year-old son was shot, and his 23-year-old daughter with her twin

children and another, 18-year-old daughter who was pregnant, were

taken hostage. Saria Talybova, who witnessed the bloody tragedy as it

unfolded, watched as four Meskhetian Turks, refugees from Central

Asia, and three Azerbaijanis were beheaded on the grave of an Armenian

soldier, and children were tortured and killed before their parents'

eyes; two Azerbaijanis in national army uniform had their eyes put out

with screwdrivers. The organized nature of the extermination of the

people of Khojaly was further evident from the fact that the peaceful

inhabitants who fled the town in desperation to save their lives were

killed outside it in previously prepared ambushes. For example,

Elman Mamedov, chief of administration in Khojaly, reported that a

large group of people who had left Khojaly came under heavy fire from

Armenian light and heavy machine-guns and armoured personnel carriers

near the village of Nakhichevanik. Another resident of Khojaly,

Sanubar Alekperova, said she would never forget the mountains of

corpses of women, children and old people near Nakhichevanik, where

they fell into an ambush: in the carnage, her mother and her two

daughters, Sevinzh and Khidzhran, were killed and she herself was

wounded. Faced with this mass shooting-down of unarmed people, some

of the group made for the village of Gyulably, but there the Armenians

took some 200 people hostage. Among them was Dzhamil Mamedov; the

Armenians tore out his nails, beat him about the legs and head and

took away his grandson, and his wife and daughter vanished without

trace. (Khojaly - The Last Day, op. cit.)

"I had heard a lot about wars, about the cruelty of the Fascists,

but the Armenians were worse, killing five- and six-year-old children,

killing innocent civilians", said a French journalist, Jean-

Yves Junet, who visited the scene of this mass murder of women, old

people, children and defenders of Khojaly. (Khojaly - The Last Day,

op. cit.)

One of the French journalist's Russian colleagues, V. Belykh, a

correspondent for the newspaper Izvestia, reported seeing bodies with

their eyes gouged out or ears cut off and bodies that had been scalped

or beheaded. (Khojaly - The Last Day, op. cit.)

The head of the Armenian Defence Ministry's medical service,

Khandar Gadzhiev - a man not unfamiliar, by reason of his job, with

the spectacle of death and suffering - was horrified by the evidence

of savage reprisals against the inhabitants of Khojaly brought before

him: a guardsman with his intestines hanging out, people with

frostbite, a child whose leg had been torn off by heavy machine-gun

fire, a girl whose face had been slashed with a knife.

Major Leonid Kravets reported that he had "personally seen about 200

bodies" and that with him had been a local policeman who, "when he saw

his four-year-old son lying among the dead with his head split open,

went out of his mind with grief". (Khojaly - The Last Day, op. cit.)

The report of Memorial, the Moscow-based human rights group, on

the massive violations of human rights committed in the taking of

Khojaly says of the civilians' flight from the town: "The fugitives

fell into ambushes set by the Armenians and came under fire. Some of

them nonetheless managed to get into Agdam; others, mostly women and

children (exactly how many it is impossible to say), froze to death

while lost in the mountains; others still, according to testimony from

those who reached Agdam, were taken prisoner near the villages of

Pirdzhamal and Nakhichevanik. There is evidence from inhabitants of

Khojaly who have already been exchanged that some of the prisoners

were shot ... Around 200 bodies were brought into Agdam in the space

of four days. Scores of the corpses bore traces of profanation.

Doctors on a hospital train in Agdam noted no less than four corpses

that had been scalped and one that had been beheaded. State forensic

examinations were carried out in Agdam on 181 corpses (130 male and 51

female, including 13 children): the findings were that 151 people had

died from gunshot wounds, 20 from shrapnel wounds and 10 from blows

inflicted with a blunt instrument ... The records of the hospital

train in Agdam, through which almost all the injured inhabitants or

defenders of Khojaly passed, refer to 598 cases of wounds or frostbite

(cases of frostbite being in the majority) and one case of live

scalping". ("A tragedy whose perpetrators cannot be vindicated. A

report by Memorial, the Moscow-based human rights group, on the

massive violations of human rights committed in the taking of Khojaly

on the night of 25/26 February 1992 by armed units", newspaper

Svoboda, 12 June 1992.)

Individual testimony

On 18 April 1994, Binnat Akhmedov, a resident of the village of

Bashlybely in the Kelbajar district, saw three Armenian soldiers gun

down 10 peaceful civilians at point-blank range and wound 14 others.

On 17 August 1993, Armenian soldiers shot and killed 25 civilian

inhabitants of the village of Gajar in the Fizuli district whom they

had encircled.

Rafik Guliev, from the village of Gorgan in the Fizuli district,

who was taken hostage by Armenian troops on 23 October 1993, testified

after his release that Armenian soldiers had shot dead 30 civilians

before his eyes.

When she returned from Armenian captivity, Arzu Amralieva reported

that on 18 April 1993, 19 people were shot on the spot and 30,

including some of her relatives, were taken hostage.

A 57-year-old man, Hasan Hasanov, reported that on 23 October

1993, 26 out of 40 defenceless people detained in the district of

Goradiz were killed.

A 61-year-old man, Budag Alyshanov, saw an Armenian by the name of

Arkady brutally murder five Azerbaijanis who had been engaged in

excessive forced labour.

Vladimir Shevelev (date of birth 1926), who was taken hostage on

22 June 1994 and released from Erevan on 10 September 1994, said that

Armenian soldiers shot and killed his mother, sister and infirm, bed-

ridden brother. According to his testimony, when, after several

months had passed, he was allowed to bury his relatives, their bones,

parts of his sister's body and her head were found in separate places.

He also reported having seen numerous corpses of women and children

that had been disfigured to the point of being unrecognizable.

Inhuman treatment of hostages and prisoners of war held in

occupied Azerbaijani territory

The crimes of the Armenian soldiery continued in the captured

areas and outside the Nagorny Karabakh region of the Azerbaijani

Republic: the victims of their mass terror included many thousands of

inhabitants of the Lachin, Kelbajar, Agdam, Fizuli, Djebrail, Zangelan

and Kubatly districts of Azerbaijan.

On 31 March 1993, during the occupation by the Armenian armed

forces of the town of Kelbajar, a 29-year-old woman, Samaya Kerimova,

and her two-year-old daughter, Nurlan Kerimova, were taken hostage.

Unable to withstand the mental and physical humiliation to which she

and her child were subjected, Samaya twice slit her wrists and

eventually killed herself by swallowing poison. Nurlan was bought

back from the Armenians for 1.5 million roubles, but, because of a

head injury, the child, who spent four months in detention, is now


A one-year-old boy, Babek Ilyasov, suffered severe damage to an

eyelid and an eye because of the explosion of a shell, but he was

given no medical assistance whatever during the time he was in

captivity. He was released with the help of the ICRC. Doctors

believe there is no hope of saving the child's eye.

On 31 March 1993, Takhir Guliev, who was born in 1956 and lived in

the village of Kilseli in the Kelbajar district, was taken hostage

together with his wife, their three-year-old child and close

relatives. The vehicle in which they were trying to flee their home

was fired on at close range by Armenian soldiers, resulting in the

deaths of Islam Guliev (date of birth 1978), Ilkhama Gulieva (date of

birth 1983), Talekh Mamedov (date of birth 1985) and Aslan Mirzoev and

his daughter Afetin, and in serious injuries to the other passengers,

including Takhir Guliev's wife and daughter and his wife's 80-year-old

mother. When, with the help of the ICRC, he returned from being held

prisoner by the Armenians, Guliev testified that Azerbaijani hostages

and prisoners of war were subjected by their Armenian captors to

savage beatings and insults and that many of them were unable to

withstand this and died. When he complained about this to ICRC

representatives, he was badly beaten in front of his wife and


Mikhail Abutalybov, a resident of the village of Bozuly in the

Kelbajar district who was born in 1955, was taken hostage together

with hundreds of peaceful Azerbaijani citizens on 7 May 1993. During

his time in Armenian captivity, he was beaten and made to do excessive

forced labour every day. He confirmed that the Armenians were holding

thousands of women, old people and children hostage.

During the seizure by troops from the Republic of Armenia of the

Azerbaijani town of Agdam, a car containing six members of the Aliev

family - two women (one of them elderly), two men (one of them

elderly) and two children (aged eight and three respectively) - was

fired on as it was heading out of town. The elderly man and the

eight-year-old child were killed outright and the other passengers

were all wounded, the three-year-old boy, Shovgi Khagani ogly Aliev,

in the shoulder. When the Armenian "doctors" operated on him in

Hangendi, they removed a third of the humerus and muscles above the

elbow of his right arm. Thanks to the efforts of the ICRC, the boy,

his seriously wounded mother and his grandmother were returned to

their homeland. After a medical examination in Baku, doctors

concluded that the removal of bone from this three-year-old child had

been completely unnecessary and that his wound had not justified such

treatment. It is not impossible that the removal was performed for

the purposes of transplantation.

The seizure of seven seriously ill patients from Agdam's

psychiatric hospital is a flagrant example of the Armenian soldiery's

crimes. Three of them were released after being held for a year, but

three others are languishing to this day in Armenian captivity. The

seventh is dead as a result of constant torture.

Ofelya Gulieva, a 16-year-old girl with a bullet wound, was held

hostage for more than 18 months. Because of the lack of prompt

medical assistance, her wound became gangrenous. On 3 June 1994 she

suffered further wounds, in the stomach and right hand, when a guard

acting for the Armenians fired at her with a sub-machine-gun. This

led to the amputation of two of her fingers. She was not released

until 28 July 1994, when she was exchanged for an Armenian prisoner of


Murvat Agaev, a man from the village of Khyurdmakhmudly in the

Fizuli district, was taken hostage together with his son, Yashar, who

was killed before his eyes. He himself was severely beaten and his

ear was cut off. Later, his hands were bound with wire, he was

suspended from a tree above an open fire and his feet were burned.

Tamasha Geidar gyzy Nukhieva, an 83-year-old woman from the

village of Korzylly in the district of Fizuli, suffered such

nightmarish treatment that she died three days after she was

exchanged. Her 47-year-old invalid son, Vagif Gutais ogly Nukhiev,

died while a hostage from the injuries he received.

Rafik Guliev, a resident of the village of Gorgan in the Fizuli

district, who was taken hostage by troops from the Republic of Armenia

on 23 October 1993, testified after his release that Armenian soldiers

had shot dead 30 civilians before his eyes and that other hostages

were subjected to brutal physical and mental torture, including

branding of their chests, beatings with heated iron bars and stuffing

of their mouths with burning coals. Children were used for heavy


Sharif Yusifov, born in 1925, a resident of the village of

Chaitumas in the Gubatly district and a class-1 disabled person, was

taken hostage on 30 August 1993, during the occupation of the area by

the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia. After his release on

8 December 1993, with the help of the ICRC, he testified that Armenian

soldiers led by a battalion commander nicknamed "Mavo" had shot dead

his 90-year-old brother, whom he had not even been allowed to bury,

and two women who had lived near him. On the day Yusifov was

captured, the same battalion commander had torn out his 12 gold teeth.

During this detention he had been subjected to constant beatings and

fed on black bread and water, and the medicines and clothing furnished

by the ICRC had been confiscated by Armenian soldiers. He also said

that among his fellow hostages had been a mentally disturbed man,

Nazim Radzhabov; he had repeatedly been savagely beaten and tormented.

On 14 September, 11 Azerbaijani soldiers were brought to the prison at

Shusha, where Yusifov was held; they had been severely beaten and had

had dogs set on them. One of the soldiers subsequently died from his

injuries. Yusifov also saw people die of hunger and cold. He

confirmed that the Armenians were holding thousands of Azerbaijani

women, children and old people hostage.

The tragic list of victims of the war against the Azerbaijani

people - which has experienced at first hand the monstrous methods of

Armenian aggression - is far from complete with the incidents related


Twenty-seven-year-old Abdulazim Mamedov was injured in the left

leg and taken prisoner by Armenians in the Azerbaijani village of

Kirkidzhan during a regular attack by Armenian forces. He received a

bullet wound which perforated the soft tissue of his left shin, and

multiple shrapnel wounds. Abdulazim Mamedov reported that, after

being interrogated for one hour, he and eight other soldiers in the

national army who had been taken prisoner with him were beaten with

rubber truncheons on their heads, backs and arms, after which an

unknown medicine was injected into their necks and they were thrown

into jail. From that time Abdulazim Mamedov was dragged into the yard

each day and beaten all over with rubber truncheons and his head was

stamped on by soldiers using the heels of their boots. On one

occasion his wound was ripped open and a cross of blood was marked on

his forehead. At New Year, with temperatures standing below zero,

cold water was poured over him in his cell; the warders' dogs were

often set on him, leaving many bites, scratches and abrasions on his

body. He was given almost no food, and an unknown drug was injected

into his neck each day, causing him to lose consciousness momentarily.

Abdulazim Mamedov states that he weighed 70 kilograms before being

taken prisoner, and 55 kilograms after he was released.

Imprisoned together with Abdulazim Mamedov was

Farkhad Rakhman ogly Atakishiev, aged 21. He was killed, and on

25 January 1992 his corpse was thrown into Abdulazim Mamedov's cell,

where they had spent a few days together. The following injuries were

noted in the report of the forensic examination of Atakishiev's


(a) A depressed fracture of the frontal bone, a closed fracture

of both bones of the forearms and the shins, a fracture of the nose,

the violent removal of all incisors in both jaws, and 61 bruises to

the head, the body and the extremities;

(b) A stab wound which caused perforation of the stomach with

injuries to internal organs, eight spot wounds (resulting from

injections) to the back of the neck, and injuries to the left hand;

(c) Two bullet wounds which perforated the thigh.

The injuries listed under (a) were inflicted by blunt instruments.

The injuries to the hand and the forearm may have been caused by dog

bites. The injuries listed under (b) were caused by stabbing, while

those listed under (c) were caused by shots from a firearm.

Alimsha Gasanov, born in 1974, serving in the national army of

Azerbaijan, a resident of the Khachmaz district, was wounded and taken

prisoner on 8 March 1994 in the Fizuli district. After his release he

testified to the inhuman treatment of prisoners of war, beatings and

excessive forced labour.

Emin Babaev, born in 1968, serving in the national army of

Azerbaijan, a resident of the city of Baku, who was taken prisoner on

23 August 1993 in the Fizuli district, reported after his release that

the car in which he had been travelling together with civilians had

been shot at by Armenians in a tank. Babaev survived together with

two other servicemen, one of whom was severely burned and later died

for lack of the necessary medical assistance. Babaev also reports

that, while imprisoned in Armenian hands, Azerbaijani prisoners of war

were constantly subjected to beatings and excessive forced labour

while often deprived even of bread and water. He confirmed that

thousands of women, old people and children were held hostage by armed

forces of the Republic of Armenia.

Zaur Rzaev, born in 1975, serving in the national army of

Azerbaijan, a resident of the village of Alisoltanly in the Saatly

district, was wounded and taken prisoner on 28 April 1994, together

with two other servicemen, one of whom, according to a statement made

by Rzaev after his release, was shot by Armenian soldiers. Rzaev

reported the inhumane treatment of Azerbaijani prisoners of war, as

well as constant beatings and excessive forced labour. He also stated

that he saw thousands of Azerbaijani hostages being held in Armenian


Faik Mamedov, born in 1971, serving in the national army of

Azerbaijan, a resident of the city of Baku, was taken prisoner on

6 September 1992. After his release he reported that, after being

wounded, he was tortured and beaten. On 20 November 1993, he managed

to escape. He testifies that after occupying the Agdam district the

Armenian forces completely burned and destroyed it. The graveyard

where his parents were buried was also destroyed. While detained by

the Armenians, he saw thousands of hostages and prisoners of war being

held in intolerable conditions.

Famil Aliev, born in 1974, serving in the national army of

Azerbaijan, a resident of the city of Baku, was taken prisoner on

3 January 1994 in the district of Agdam. After his release he stated

that while he was in captivity Armenian soldiers stubbed out

cigarettes on his body. Aliev also witnessed the execution of

Azerbaijani prisoners of war by shooting. He confirmed that Armenians

were holding thousands of women, old people and children who were

subjected to excessive forced labour, torture and ill-treatment.

Amil Akhmedov, born in 1973, serving in the national army, a

resident of the village of Ashigly in the Beilagan district, was taken

prisoner on 23 September 1993. After his release he reported that he

had been beaten and tortured every day. He also testified that a

resident of the Fizuli district named Vagif had been beaten to death

in front of him, and that Valekh Aliev, a resident of the Imishly

district, had blown himself up using a grenade after being unable to

bear the humiliation.

Anar Mamedov, born in 1973, serving in the national army, a

resident of the Beilagan district, was taken prisoner on

23 September 1993 together with 10 other servicemen. After his

release he stated that he had been beaten four or five times each day

by Armenian soldiers while they were holding him captive. He also

confirms the above-mentioned report of the death of the resident of

the Fizuli district named Vagif as a result of the beatings and the

suicide of Valekh Aliev of the Imishly district, adding that five

elderly persons died from beatings.

Afin Yakhyaev, born in 1968, serving in the national army, a

resident of the Ujar district, reported after his release that he and

three other servicemen were taken prisoner on 25 April 1994 in the

Agdam district and subjected to interrogations and beatings every day.

Yakhyaev testified that many prisoners who were unable to bear the

humiliation committed suicide. He also confirms reports of thousands

of Azerbaijani hostages held in Armenian torture chambers.

Magomed Dashdamirov, a resident of the Tovuz district, reports

that his son Novruz Dashdamirov, born in 1975, serving in the national

army, was taken prisoner in August 1993 during the occupation of the

Fizuli district of Azerbaijan by armed forces from the Republic of

Armenia. The father states that his son was subjected to torture and

brutal beatings while in captivity. Although N. Dashdamirov succeeded

in escaping from Armenian captivity, he fell sick as a result of the

humiliations inflicted on him in detention and is now in a critical


Rasat Akhmedov was taken prisoner by armed forces from the

Republic of Armenia on 7 March 1994 during fighting near the village

of Seid-Akhmedli. He and his fellow prisoners of war were beaten with

spades and truncheons. He states that on 15 September 1994 prisoner

of war Zeinal Makhmudov died as a result of a brutal beating.

Akhmedov himself was released on 16 October 1994 with help from

representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in

Europe (OSCE).

K. Gadzhiev, a resident of the Tovuz district, states that his

son, Elfag Gadzhiev, serving in the national army, was taken prisoner

on 12 June 1993 during fighting with armed forces from the Republic of

Armenia which were attacking the Agdam district of Azerbaijan. While

he was being held in Armenian captivity, his health was seriously

undermined as a result of inhuman treatment, torture and humiliation.

Following his release through the mediation of the ICRC, the health of

E. Gadzhiev has now seriously deteriorated. He also confirms that

hundreds of Azerbaijani women, old people and children are being held

hostage in intolerable conditions in the prison of the Azerbaijani

town of Shusha under occupation by armed forces from the Republic of




The Armenian Government resorts to all kinds of tricks to conceal

its aggressive intentions towards Azerbaijan from the world community,

portraying its claims on the territory of an independent State as the

struggle of Armenians in Karabakh. At the same time, the holding of a

considerable number of Azerbaijani prisoners of war and hostages and

the instances of murder and acts of violence against them in Armenian

territory gives the lie to this.

According to information supplied by the State Commission of the

Azerbaijani Republic on prisoners of war, hostages and missing

persons, and the testimony of those who have returned from Armenian

captivity, Azerbaijani prisoners of war and hostages are being held on

the territory of the Republic of Armenia at military police

headquarters No. 10724, the women's prison, a hospital in Erebun

district and a chemical factory in the city of Erevan; on the military

base at Sovetashen; in Ejmiatsin; in the prison and the hospital in

Goris; in Prison No. 8, the district internal affairs office, the home

of a certain Dadamyan at Flat 19, Block 306 and at the cement factory

in Spitak; in Noyembryan; in Mergi; in Leninakan; in Nairi; in

Kirovakan; at military police headquarters in Sisian; in Ararat; in

Abovyan on the Birechakhan housing estate; in the Sepan region and in

other regions of Armenia.

Violence and torture perpetrated against civilians held in the

territory of Armenia

There is a large quantity of information regarding inhuman

treatment and violence against the defenceless victims of the war

among the civilian population, bearing witness to the Republic of

Armenia's open flouting of the norms of international humanitarian

law. The inflicting of physical suffering, murder, torture, corporal

punishment, mutilation, medical and scientific experiments which are

not based on the need for medical care, and other gross violence

against detained Azerbaijanis by the representatives of the civil and

military authorities in Armenia violates the requirements not only of

the well-known Geneva Conventions but also of elementary human


Kamil Veliev, born in 1936, a resident of the village of Bakharly

in the Zangelan district, who was released on 14 November 1993

following mediation by the ICRC, was taken hostage in August 1993 when

Armenian forces occupied the Zangelan district of Azerbaijan, and was

detained in Armenian territory, where he was subjected to systematic

torture, as a result of which his hearing was impaired.

In August 1993, when the Gubatly district of Azerbaijan was seized

by armed forces from the Republic of Armenia, Farkhad Yusifov, born in

1930, a resident of the village of Garakishilyar in that district, was

taken hostage. He has suffered from diabetes since 1973. He was held

captive by Armenians, without the minimum assistance needed to treat

his illness, in jail in the town of Goris (Armenia), and was later

transferred to a jail in the town of Kafan (Armenia). He was released

on 14 November 1993 thanks to the efforts of the ICRC and returned to

Azerbaijan from the city of Erevan (Armenia).

One of the peaceful inhabitants taken hostage at the time when the

Gubadly district of Azerbaijan was occupied by Armenian soldiers in

August 1993 and returned to Azerbaijan from Erevan with ICRC

assistance on 14 November 1993 was 60-year-old Islam Gadzhiev, who

according to F. Yusifov, with whom he shared the hardships of life as

a hostage, was tortured mercilessly by the Armenians. He was forced

to lick the filthy floor, stand at attention for hours on end and his

head was beaten against the wall to such an extent that he went out of

his mind. The grey-haired man was thrown to the floor and kicked in

the belly until he lost consciousness, and sustained injuries to his


Khamza Guliev, born in 1913 and a resident of the village of

Milanly in the Gubadly district, was taken hostage on 30 August 1993

during the occupation of the district by the armed forces of the

Republic of Armenia and was released from captivity on

18 October 1993. He had been held in occupied Azerbaijani territory

and then transferred to the town of Kafan in Armenia. He testifies to

inhuman treatment, torture and humiliation of hostages, and assaults

on women.

An inhabitant of the Azerbaijani town of Shusha, 15-year-old

Nazaket Mamedova, who was taken hostage together with her father on

8 May 1993 at the time the town was occupied by Armenian soldiers,

experienced indescribable suffering as a prisoner of the Armenians.

They were held first in the town of Hankendi and then in Armenia.

Over a long period of time the father was demeaned and humiliated in

various ways before the very eyes of his daughter. He was beaten,

insulted, his ear was cut off and red-hot irons were applied to his

body, making him an invalid for life. Only then was he released.

However, his daughter was retained as hostage until 4 April 1993, the

endless round of blackmail and threats driving the girl's mother

insane; eventually the daughter was returned to her family after a

ransom of 4 million roubles had been paid.

Illegal acts perpetrated against prisoners of war

in Armenian territory

Prisoners of war, as well as hostages, fall into the category of

persons protected by international humanitarian law, which stipulates

that no reprisals may be taken against them and that their safety must

be properly ensured, to say nothing of the fact that "refined" forms

of violence are prohibited. How far the Republic of Armenia complies

with these provisions is evident from the large number of flagrant

examples of inhuman treatment of Azerbaijani prisoners of war

reflecting cruelty that is beyond human understanding. Rare are those

who survive, and those who return are forever crippled.

One of the few prisoners of war who survived and returned home was

Mail Mamedov, born in 1971 and called up to serve in the national army

of the Azerbaijani Republic from the village of Khalikly in the

Geokchai district of Azerbaijan. Taken prisoner on 4 October 1992

near the town of Hankendi, he was first held in Karabakh and then

transferred to Armenia. According to a short extract from his medical

history, he was systematically humiliated and beaten with a hammer and

a sub-machine-gun, as a result of which the bones in his left foot as

well as those in his left forearm and shoulder were broken. On

7 October 1992 a red-hot metal cross was applied to his chest. In

February 1993 some kind of liquid that produced symptoms of allergy

was forcibly injected intravenously. He was released on 9 May 1993 in

exchange for an Armenian prisoner.

Ayaz Guseinov, born in 1973 and a native of the Surakhan district

of Baku, was also tortured; he had been a soldier in the national

army, was taken prisoner on 1 April 1993 in the Kelbajar district of

Azerbaijan and held first in Karabakh and later in a camp near the

town of Kirovakan (Armenia). His relatives paid his ransom of 7

million roubles on 3 September 1993.

Most Azerbaijani prisoners of war die violent deaths or as a

result of the unbearable conditions that are deliberately created in


Magerram Makhyaddinov, who was born in 1972 and who, prior to

being called up to serve in the national army, had lived in the town

of Gakh in the Azerbaijani Republic, was taken prisoner in the

Zangelan district and held in Armenian territory, where each day he

was beaten by Lieutenant-Colonel Gazmanov, the deputy chief of the

police department of the town of Kafan; he was driven insane by the

beatings and later died of massive internal haemorrhaging.

Following his release in October 1993, Bayram Aliev, born in 1973

and a soldier in the national army from the Evlakh district, reported

that when taken prisoner in December 1992 during the occupation of the

Zangelan district of Azerbaijan by the armed forces of the Republic of

Armenia, he had first been held, together with his fellow servicemen,

in the police department of the town of Kafan in the Republic of

Armenia and had later been moved to Erevan, the Armenian capital. He

confirms that Azerbaijani prisoners of war were tortured and

humiliated, forced to eat dirt, brutally beaten, had open wounds poked

with lighted cigarettes and were deprived of their human dignity.

Essential medical care was not given to the wounded. Many prisoners

died from the ill-treatment. According to Bayram Aliev, Magerram

Makhyaddinov was beaten to death for complaining to ICRC

representatives about the intolerable conditions and inhuman treatment

of prisoners of war. Aliev also confirms that hundreds of Azerbaijani

citizens are being held hostage in Armenia and subjected to violent

and degrading treatment.

Ilgar Gamzaev, born in 1973, was also killed in Armenia. A

soldier in the national army, he had been taken hostage by the

Balasanyan family, which tried to exchange him for R. Balasanyan, who

had been reported missing in action in Azerbaijani territory.

Ilkham Nasirov was taken prisoner after being wounded in three

places. Born in 1973, he had lived in Baku prior to his service in

the national army; he was first held in the town in Hankendi and later

transferred to Erevan, where he was placed with the Arakelyan family,

which wished to exchange him for their son Shagen, reported missing in

action in Azerbaijani territory. According to F. Yusifov who returned

home after his imprisonment, Nasirov was reduced to dystrophy by his

"host" and admitted to Hospital No. 10 of the Ministry of National

Security of the Republic of Armenia. According to letter No. 06/134

of 24 November 1993 from S. Arakelyan, the director of the hospital,

which was received through the ICRC, Nasirov died on 23 November 1993

in Erevan's military hospital (No. 88865), the diagnosis being

alimentary dystrophy and acute cachexia.

In August 1993, Armenian policemen drove Vikil ogly Zakir in a car

to the outskirts of the village of Kirovka in the Marneuli district of

Georgia and dumped him there. He died shortly afterwards, without

regaining consciousness, in the district hospital of the town of

Gazakh in the Azerbaijani Republic. An examination revealed that his

death was due to starvation and the injuries he had suffered. Doctors

found that his entire body was covered with cigarette burns and

bruises, that the nails of his right hand and left foot had been torn

out and that internal organs had been injured.

In May 1994 a prisoner of war named Tofik, a native of the Lerik

district, was tortured to death and Rasim Mamedov lost his reason as a

result of the beatings to which he was subjected in a remand centre of

the Armenian Ministry of National Security (formerly the KGB). After

being held by Armenia's military police, Famil Rzakhanov was released

in an extremely serious condition.

On 16 February 1994, the press service of the Ministry of Foreign

Affairs of the Republic of Armenia announced that Azerbaijani

prisoners of war had been shot, emphasizing that "they were killed

while attempting to escape". Thanks to ICRC efforts, arrangements

were made on 23 March 1994 to transport from Armenia to Azerbaijan the

bodies of 10 Azerbaijani prisoners, of whom 2 died on 28 June 1993 and

23 November 1993, respectively, and 8 were killed on 29 January 1994.

The results of a forensic examination carried out by a commission of

Azerbaijan's Ministry of Public Health attached to the Scientific

Association for Forensic Expertise and Pathological Anatomy completely

refuted the statement by the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

concerning the killing of the 10 Azerbaijani prisoners of war while

attempting to escape and confirmed that R. R. Agaev, E. G. Akhmedov,

E. S. Mamedov, F. G. Kuliev and E. M. Akhmedov were brutally tortured

and beaten before death and killed by a shot in the head, and that

B. A. Giasov was shot from the front at point-blank range.

R. R. Agaev, E. S. Mamedov and E. M. Akhmedov had had their ears cut

off. R. R. Agaev's internal organs - his heart, liver and spleen -

were missing, indicating that they had been used as transplants. An

examination of I. S. Nasirov's body revealed unmistakeable signs of

cachexia, indicating prolonged starvation. F. G. Gusienov's body bore

a large number of external marks indicating physical torture.

The forensic conclusions of the Azerbaijani experts were confirmed

by the conclusions, incorporated in a document dated 13 April 1994, of

the results of a second examination of the bodies carried out by the

Scottish Professor Derek Pounder, an eminent scientist, member of the

American Medical Association, of the Praesidium of the International

Academy of Legal Medicine and of Social Medicine and of the British

"Doctors for Human Rights" Association.

From time to time, in order to give a semblance of legality to the

punishments imposed on Azerbaijani prisoners of war, Armenia holds

show trials behind a propaganda screen poorly concealing the absurdity

of a situation in which the defendants - not provided with qualified

counsel, contrary to international standards - are in point of fact

accused of honestly performing their duty to defend the sovereignty

and territorial integrity of their State. At one such mock trial in

Erevan, for example, two Azerbaijani prisoners of war were sentenced

to death, three to 15 years' imprisonment and another three to

12 years' imprisonment. This is how Armenia's overtly militarized

governmental machinery, in the guise of the "votaries of Themis",

deals with the victims of war.


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