The Usage of the Church of Kataro Monastery for Military Purposes

On March 29, 2021 some Azerbaijani users uploaded a video on Youtube, where it was visible how Azerbaijani soldiers turned the church of Kataro Monastery into a military post.

The soldiers present the church as “the oldest Caucasian Albanian” one: “… we are at the Albanian monastery, at the church. It is four thousand… three thousand meters high (people around say different numbers, he repeats). This is the interior of the church. Our church was built thousands years ago. These vile Armenians appropriated that, used as their own”. Several days later the video was removed.

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”.