The Church of Surb Astvatsatsin of Karintak is being vandalized

In March 2021, a YouTube user posted a video on his Karabakh Honor channel, where it is clearly visible that the church of Surb Astvatsatsin of Karintak village which came under the control of Azerbaijan after the 44-day war is being vandalized. The video clearly shows that the Holy Altar located in the apse is broken and divided in half, everything inside of the church is turned upside down, and the Azerbaijani soldiers walk all around the church, climb on the apse, desecrate it, and enter the sacristies which are also messed up.

Moreover, it becomes clear, that Azerbaijani vandals say a Muslim prayer in the Armenian church. According to the video, it is obvious that a large Azerbaijani military unit is located in the village of Karintak, whose soldiers desecrate the Armenian cultural heritage.

Our response

According to the 4th article of the 1954 Hague Convention "On the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict", any acts of theft, robbery or misappropriation of cultural property in any form, and any acts of vandalism are prohibited.

According to the First Protocol of the 1954 Hague Convention, it is forbidden to destroy cultural or spiritual values ​​in the occupied territory. The Second Protocol of 1999 of the Hague Convention reaffirms these requirements and, according to the 15th article defines the mentioned actions as an international crime.

Destruction of cultural property is prohibited by the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949 for the Protection of War Victims, on the Laws and Customs of War, by four International conventions and protocols, and the relevant UN resolutions and treaties on the protection of human rights.