Aknakhbyur. Desecration of the Memorial to the Victims of the First Artsakh War

In the village of Aknakhbyur, occupied by Azerbaijan, soldiers vandalized the memorial dedicated to victims of the First Artsakh War. As evidenced by the photographs posted on the Internet on March 18 by an Azerbaijani user, the monument was painted red (photo 1).

Pillage and Misappropriation of Cultural Heritage

The Article 4 of the Hague Convention of 1954 for the “Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict” prohibits any act of vandalism, theft, robbery or embezzlement and imposes an absolute ban on acts of retaliation against cultural property. The Second Hague Protocol of 1999 that also refers to the cases of non-international (ethnic) conflicts prohibits any act of hostility and retaliation against inheritance, which is classified as an international crime by Article 15. According to the Geneva First Protocol of the Convention of 12 August 1949, Article 53 states: “Without prejudice to the provisions of the Hague Convention of May 14, 1954, it is prohibited to carry out any hostile action against cultural heritage, to use it for military purposes, or make it a subject of retaliation”.

Fig. 1 Desecration of the Memorial to the Victims of the First Artsakh War https://www.armlife.am/news/143623.html?swcfpc=1&fbclid=IwAR3psEJ3yRRZyMrYy2KfyUy8_dPsfMkyMhyxsDiTBBcaWIuoETweVGkrXFw