“We are very keen to put pressure on Azerbaijan to bring the POWs back to safety as it should do and to stop all those crimes against humanity”.
Months after the Second Artsakh War launched by Azerbaijan, hundreds of Armenian prisoners of war are still being illegally held in Baku and war crimes are still being reported. Moreover, Azerbaijan goes beyond physical and psychological aggression, targeting and destroying the Armenian heritage in Artsakh in a deliberate manner.
“I and my colleagues are deeply worried about the situation with the POWs being held by Azerbaijan. And there are not only soldiers but there are also civilians as well and all should've been released on the signed ceasefire. That was agreed. Armenia turned the POWs from here and so Azerbaijan is again breaking the law and it needs to be called to account and the impunity which it's been carrying out these very very bad practices needs to be challenged. They shouldn't be able to get away with impunity like this”, states Baroness Caroline Cox.
Drawing parallels between both of the Artsakh Wars, Cox feels utterly alarmed by the fact that Azerbaijan is still able to hold the Armenian POWs in Baku despite the footages that have emerged online, showing the heinous tortures the POWs are subjected to.
“I think there's a great similarity within the atrocities, the war crimes that were carried out in the war through 1990-1994. I was at Maragha very soon after the massacre, homes are still burning, their heads were just being cut off recently, and we saw the decapitated bodies, and we saw the others who suffered from wounds and lost loved ones, and it was a place of real massacre, a real crime against humanity”, - says Cox, drawing parallels between both of the Artsakh Wars.
Arriving in Artsakh from the very beginning of the First Artsakh War, Caroline Cox became one of the staunchest supporters of the Artsakh Struggle. Along with the numerous visits to Armenia and Artsakh and humanitarian work, Cox is also one of those rare figures who has constantly voiced about Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian policy, using all possible international stages to support the rightful process of self-determination of Artsakh people.
Baroness Cox was also the first foreign representative to witness the consequences of the Maragha Massacre, carried out by Azerbaijan in Artsakh’s Maragha village on April 10, 1992 (occupied by Azerbaijan since the First Artsakh War). To this day, her works lay against Azerbaijan’s propaganda machine which, time and time again, tries to cover up each crime with incompetent scenarios aiming to perplex both the International Community and the young generations of the Azerbaijani society.
Azerbaijan was not held accountable for the committed atrocities and war crimes in either of the wars. Baku officially awarded everyone who perpetrated those anti-Armenian acts. Cox stressed that this practice is a very dangerous culture formed in Azerbaijan, as a result of which society, too, glorifies people who possess hatred and warmongering acts against Armenians. “President Aliyev is always saying statements of awful, really furious hatred against Armenians, so I am afraid it's part of the psyche. The honouring of those who took part in the massacre in Maragha is part of that encouragement of the psychology of hatred against Armenian”, underlined Cox.
Being the great humanitarian she is, Caroline Cox travelled to Artsakh during the recent war, too. Moreover, despite the ongoing hardships caused by the pandemic, Cox successfully maintains close cooperation with local and international partners in order to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Artsakh, particularly to the refugees. “We’re trying to see what can be done. I am ashamed to say that I am not proud of British Government and its policy at all, as it's been so pro Azerbaijan”, declares Baroness Cox.
Caroline Cox recalls the corralled memories from the wars with great sorrow - scene by scene, everything she witnessed personally. The memories accompanied by the cases of the cultural genocide against Armenians, taking her back to Nakhichevan, where every spiritual and historic trace of Armenianness was razed to the ground by Azerbaijan. “It's always a deep worry that they might try to do the same in Artsakh”, says Cox.
Pioneering the struggle against Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian policy and denouncing the current state of impunity particularly regarding Azerbaijan’s recent war crimes, in her final message, Baroness Cox expresses anger with the UK Government and compassion with Armenia and Artsakh.
“You held the frontline of faith and freedom for the rest of the world and you paid a high sacrifice for it, so the world should be saying "Thank you!" to Armenia and Artsakh for holding that frontline”,- adds Baroness Cox.
Prepared with the assistance of the Public Relations and Information Center of the Office of the President of Armenia, Yerevan.
This website was created with the assistance of the "Xenophobia Prevention Initiative" NGO
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