Baku authorities have dug bunkers in the early Christian cemetery of the Armenian settlement of Gyavurkala – Artsakh

  • by Western Armenia, June 13, 2023 in Society

The website, which monitors Artsakh's cultural heritage, writes:

"As is clear from the space photo published by the "Caucasus Heritage Watch" website, the Baku authorities have dug bunkers in the cemetery area of the Armenian Paleochristian settlement Gyavurkala (literally, fortress of the infidels) in the Haykajur village of the Martakert region of the Republic of Artsakh.

After Tigranakert, Gyavurkala is the largest early Christian Armenian settlement on the Artsakh plain. It covers an area of around two hectares, has a round earthen wall and a 5th-6th-century church-hall built of ashlar and decorated with cross motifs. The pillar of the early Christian monument was still standing. One of the first Armenian inscriptions on the Artsakh plain was found in the 1950s in the town cemetery, exactly where the bunkers are dug today.

It cannot be ruled out that other sarcophagi bearing Armenian inscriptions are also to be found in this area.

Our answer:

In fact, the government in Baku is persistently pursuing the destruction of Armenian traces in the occupied territories. There is a great risk that such bunkers will be placed in the area of the settlement itself.

According to Article 4.1 of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict: "... States undertake to respect their cultural values, as well as those of other parties, by prohibiting the use of such values, their immediate surroundings and defence structures for purposes which could lead to their destruction or damage in the event of armed conflict, and by refraining from any hostile action against such values. According to Article 53 of the First Protocol to the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949, "It is prohibited to take any hostile action against cultural heritage, to use it for military purposes or to make it the object of reprisals". The Baku government is once again grossly violating its obligations under international conventions."