‘Execution’ video of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict prompts war crime probe

'Execution' video of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict prompts war crime probe
Several thousand people are thought to have died since the Karabakh war reignited in late September. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: Videos of a potential war crime have emerged as fighting rages between Armenia and Azerbaijan around the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenians.

One video posted on a messaging app shows what appears to be two Armenians wearing military uniforms being captured by troops from Azerbaijan.

A second video appears to show that the same Armenians being shot with their hands behind their backs.

Armenian authorities have identified the men as 25-year-old Yuri Adamyan and 73-year-old Benik Hakobyan. Azerbaijan officials has dismissed the videos as fake.

The Council of Europe, Europe’s top human rights watchdog, has said it has received the video and will investigate all alleged human rights abuses and war crime and take action when appropriate.

Fighting erupted on 27 September in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is recognised internationally as part of Azerbaijan but being Armenian controlled by Armenian ethnics. Clashes quickly escalated into a large-scale conflict, with indiscriminate shelling of cities and towns and alleged use of banned cluster munitions.

On 10 October, a ceasefire was announced and then again on 18 October, but attacks have continued.

Several thousand people are said to have died from both sides and shelling has killed civilians in both Azerbaijan and Armenia. Tens of thousands have fled their homes.

Combatants on both sides have released videos and images showing prisoners of war (POWs) and the bodies of opposition soldiers.

The BBC has studied several videos circulated on various platforms by the two warring sides on social media, allegedly showing prisoners of war being killed or harmed. Only these two videos were verifiably what they purported to be.

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