Destruction of the cemetery of Syghnakh

On May 30, an Internet user Vahe Harutyunyan posted satellite photos on his Facebook page, showing that the Azerbaijanis destroyed and razed to the ground the cemetery in the village of Sykhnakh in Askeran region of the Republic of Artsakh, which was founded in the middle of the 18th century and was active until the occupation.

The observations performed on ground suggest that the area has been turned into a construction site. Arrows in the second and third photographs indicate the road between the quarry and the cemetery. The fourth photo shows a house, located right on the territory of the cemetery. In fact, there’s nothing left of the cemetery.

In response to the actions of Azerbaijan destroying the cemetery of Syghnakh village, we find it necessary to recall of the Article 4 of the Hague Convention of 1954 for the “Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict” prohibits destruction of cultural or spiritual heritage. The Second Hague Protocol of 1999 also confirms that fact and classifies that as an international crime by Article 15.

The acts of destruction of Cultural Heritage are also prohibited by four international Conventions and Protocols approved in Geneva on August 12th, 1949 referring to the protection of the war victims, laws and customs of war, as well as by the relevant UN commission on human rights.