Today, Arman Tatoyan, Armenia’s Human Rights Defender shared footage showing Azerbaijani soldiers vandalizing the 19th century St. Yeghishe Armenian Church in Occupied Artsakh’s Mataghis.
His post runs as follows,
This is the St. Yeghishe Armenian Church in Mataghis, Artsakh (built in the 19th century).
In this video, the Azerbaijani military (the Turkish flag is also clearly visible on the uniforms) cynically dishonor and vandalize the Armenian church, openly and deliberately insult the church, a while knowing all too well that the church is Armenian. In the video, they say the following:
Before entering the church. “Let us now enter the church of theirs (meaning Armenians), where I have already prayed.”
After entering the church. “This belongs to the Armenians, everything here belongs to the Armenians, we have torn it.”
It is clear that this is an act of open hatred, both on ethnic and religious grounds. Moreover, this is not a isolated case, but rather, it is the result of years of systematic policy of hatred and enmity in Azerbaijan, which continues today.
The Human Rights Defender of Armenia will present this case to the international bodies, noting it as yet another proof that the treatment of Armenians in September-November of 2020 was an implementation of a policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide.
PS. Thanks to Father Vahram (High Priest Vahram Melikyan) for his assistance in identifying the church, as well as YSU Faculty of Archeology lecturer Mariam Melkonyan for her assistance regarding an accurate translation.”