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Azerbaijan must respect and protect the lives of ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh: UN expert

27 September 2023

GENEVA (27 September 2023) – Azerbaijan must guarantee the rights of ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh and ensure that the lives of civilians, detained persons or those otherwise “hors de combat” in recent hostilities are respected and protected in line with its international obligations, a UN expert said today.

“Azerbaijan must also promptly and independently investigate alleged or suspected violations of the right to life reported in the context of its latest military offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, during which dozens of people, including peacekeepers, were killed,” the Special Rapporteur said.

Tidball-Binz said investigations must be conducted in accordance with international standards, in particular the Revised UN Manual on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, also known as the Minnesota Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death (2016). This requires that investigations be carried out promptly and be thorough, complete, independent, impartial and transparent, he said.

“I reaffirm my readiness to provide technical assistance to the authorities for ensuring compliance with their international humanitarian law and human rights obligations to properly investigate every potentially unlawful death in line with applicable standards of forensic best practice,” the Special Rapporteur said.


Mr Morris Tidball-Binz is the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executionsappointed in 2021. He is a medical doctor specialized in forensic science, human rights and humanitarian action and has contributed to the development and worldwide use of forensic science to investigate and document extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, enforced disappearances, torture and detention conditions, as well as to humanitarian action in armed conflicts and natural catastrophes.

Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.


For additional information and media requests please contact the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Gihan Indraguptha ([email protected]) or [email protected].

For media enquiries regarding other UN independent experts, please contact Maya Derouaz ([email protected]) and Dharisha Indraguptha ([email protected])

Follow news related to the UN's independent human rights experts on Twitter: @UN_SPExperts

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