Azerbaijanis completely destroyed the building of the central library named after Avetik Isahakyan in Hadrut and adjacent residential buildings

On May 5, 2023, the Azertac News Agency published a video on its Facebook ( ), according to which thew President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva visited Hadrut and participated in the foundation of the "Administrative Center" in Hadrut. The video shows that the central library named after Av. Isahakyan in Hadrut and adjacent residential buildings were demolished to the ground (Fig. 1-3).

The Hadrut Central Library was founded in 1932. According to the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Artsakh, there were 36,923 books in the library. Before the 44-day Artsakh war, the library named after Av. Isahakyan played an important role in the cultural life of the community, was the center of various cultural events and celebrations. The annual educational events "Spring Readings", "Artsakh Folklore Readings" were organized here, in which schoolchildren and youth from the district took part.

Our response

The destruction of the central library named after Av. Isahakyan in Hadrut is another manifestation of Azerbaijani vandalism, which is a gross violation of a number of provisions of international conventions and declarations adopted by Azerbaijan. According to Article 4 of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, any acts of vandalism, theft, robbery, misappropriation, military actions of hatred towards cultural heritage are prohibited.

According to the first Hague Protocol of 1954, it is forbidden to destroy cultural or spiritual values in the occupied territories. The Second Hague Protocol of 1999 ratifies this requirement and, in accordance with Article 15, qualifies such an act as an international crime. Actions to destroy cultural property are also prohibited by the four Geneva International Conventions and Protocols on the Protection of Victims of War, on the Laws and Customs of War of August 12, 1949, as well as relevant UN resolutions and human rights treaties.