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Arusyak Julhakyan Gives a Speech at PACE Session in Strasbourg
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On January 24, the member of the RA NA Delegation to PACE Arusyak Julhakyan gave a speech at PACE Session.

<<Thank you, Chair,

Dear colleagues,

First of all let me mention that we can have only facepalm and nothing more while hearing appraisal of democracy from a representative of one of the most autocratic countries of the world, the fact of which is fixed in all the reports of the international organizations.

However, let me continue with my speech.

The International Humanitarian Law protects the dignity of persons involved in armed conflicts both during their lifetime and after death and prohibits any kind of outrages upon personal dignity.

Moreover, under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court committing outrages upon personal dignity constitutes a war crime.

The Geneva Convention stipulates that Women shall be especially protected against any attack on their honor, in particular against rape or any form of indecent assault.

As it is fairly mentioned in the draft resolution “conflict-related sexual violence”, is one of the worst atrocities of war, used to humiliate, violate and ruin the minds and bodies of victims, with the intention of spreading fear and breaking the spirit of the oppressed.

After the recent aggression in September 2022 by Azerbaijan against Armenia, not only Armenian but also the international community was shocked by a horrible video spread in the Azerbaijani media outlets.

Armenian women who fell into the hands of Azerbaijani Armed Forces fell victim to the utmost degrading and inhuman treatment. All of the female captives were stripped down to their breasts and left on the field of combat with their chests stripped naked.

In one of the videos a completely nude woman’s body was placed in a trophy-like manner above the rest of the nearby corpses. Her breasts and genitals were borne naked as a spectacle for the witnesses. The perpetrators have left a message “YAŞMA” on her chest, which is a code name for the Azerbaijani specially trained forces, and I will skip all other horrible details.

The filming and circulating of such operations on media is done for public appraisal and pride. The perpetrators had evidently intended to leave it as a message to the observers, as these videos were seen not only by the Armenian people in general but also by the three children of this female soldier, causing unnecessary suffering and grief to them. And it is worth mentioning that the body of this female serviceperson had not been given to the Armenian side for a long time.

Colleagues, the video I am talking about is a concrete evidence of a grave war crime cruelly committed by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces and attributable to Azerbaijan. The severe violence of the perpetrators is beyond imagination. Moreover, these gruesome crimes are followed with actions demonstrating extreme cynicism based on the hatred against ethnic Armenians. This violence is not only gender based but also racial based.

Colleagues, it is important to state that the outrage upon the personal dignity, constitutes a war crime under the International Criminal Law and the perpetrators must be punished, as the impunity causes new crimes.

So it is necessary that the Assembly addresses the issue of sexual violence during armed conflicts>>.