Statement from the Ministry Of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the insult of the mosque in Zangilan by armenians
The historical territory of Azerbaijan - the region of Nagorno Karabakh, including its immediate areas, which has been under the seizure of Armenian armed forces for almost 30 years, is now being progressively freed by the victorious army of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Thanks to the courage demonstrated by the service personnel of our Armed Forces, the regional centres of Jabrail, Fizuli and Zangilan, as well as a number of the populated areas of these regions, and that of the Khojavend and Tartar regions have been freed from the occupation. Historical and cultural monuments located in our freed territories have also been saved from the enemy.
However, we regret to note that during the years of the occupation, the aggressive policy of Armenia has either destroyed or misappropriated the immovable historical and cultural monuments belonging to the Azerbaijani people, while vandalising these historical sites by use that contradicts their historical and cultural purpose. The most common examples of immovable cultural heritage damaged by the Armenian armed forces are the Islamic monuments such as mosques, tombs and other places of worship. Armenians have demonstrated their hatred of Azerbaijanis by keeping animals inside mosques. Such barbaric treatment of the cultural heritage in the occupied territories, including unique monuments of special importance, is a threat to world heritage.
As expected, many monuments in the freed areas are in a deplorable condition. The state-registered immovable historical and cultural monument – the mosque in Zangilan was used to keep pigs; this is another clear example of Armenian vandalism, and this fact is strongly condemned not only by Azerbaijan, but should also be criticised by international organisations and the progressive world community as a barbaric attitude to the world’s cultural heritage. This reflects the attitude of the Republic of Armenia to other religions and shows its true face.
Keeping animals in the mosque, which is a place of worship for Muslims, along with the negative attitude of the Republic of Armenia to human values, is disrespectful to the religious values of our people and the entire Muslim world, and it should have a legal evaluation at the international level. We call on the states and peoples of the civilised world to condemn such heinous acts of the Republic of Armenia against human values.
We also refer to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, according to which the occupying power must not allow the destruction, looting and misappropriation of and must refrain from hostile actions against cultural property.