Scores of civilians killed in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, international community must act

During the 44-day conflict between late September and early November 2020, Armenian and Azerbaijani forces’ repeated use of notoriously inaccurate and indiscriminate weapons – including cluster munitions and explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated civilian areas – violated international humanitarian law and killed scores of civilians, injured hundreds and destroyed homes and key infrastructure.

The new Amnesty International report, In the Line of Fire: Civilian casualties from unawful strikes in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, is based an on-the-ground investigation on both sides and details 18 strikes by Armenian and Azerbaijani forces which unlawfully killed civilians. In all, at least 146 civilians, including multiple children and older people.

Amnesty International Australia has written to Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, asking her to work with the international community to:

  • Monitor the situation and exert every effort to ensure that both sides are fully compliant with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, and document and publish any information where respective obligations are, or are alleged to be, violated, and
  • Ensure that both sides take prompt, tangible and effective steps to investigate reported violations, identify and bring to account the perpetrators, and provide full and adequate reparation to the victims.
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Joel MacKay is a campaigner at Amnesty International Australia.