© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: General view of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands December 11, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman
THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Judges at the International Court of Justice examining Armenian allegations that Azerbaijan breached a convention against racial discrimination on Tuesday ordered Azerbaijan to prevent incitement of racial hatred against Armenians and protect Armenian prisoners of war.
The court has yet to rule on a similar case from Azerbaijan’s side, who filed a countersuit alleging violations of the same U.N. anti-discrimination treaty.
In October last year, Azeri troops drove ethnic Armenian forces out of swathes of territory they had controlled since the 1990s in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region, before Russia brokered a ceasefire.
The court said on Tuesday that Azerbaijan under the U.N. anti-discrimination treaty must “take all necessary measures to prevent the incitement and promotion of racial hatred and discrimination including by its officials in public institutions targeted at persons of Armenian national or ethnic origin”.
In addition presiding judge Joan Donoghue said Azerbaijan must protect from violence and harm “all persons captured in relation to the 2020 conflict who remain in detention” and must “prevent and punish acts of vandalism and desecration affecting Armenian cultural heritage”.
The emergency measures are part of tit-for-tat cases filed at the World Court in September where both Armenia and Azerbaijan claimed the other country has violated the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), to which both states are signatories.
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