The Republic of Armenia today instituted proceedings against the Republic of Azerbaijan before the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, with regard to alleged violations of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
The Applicant contends that “[f]or decades, Azerbaijan has subjected Armenians to racial discrimination” and that, “[a]s a result of this State-sponsored policy of Armenian hatred, Armenians have been subjected to systemic discrimination, mass killings, torture and other abuse”.
According to Armenia, these violations are directed at individuals of Armenian ethnic or national origin regardless of their actual nationality. Armenia claims that “[t]hese practices once again came to the fore in September 2020, after Azerbaijan’s aggression against the Republic of Artsakh and Armenia” and that “[d]uring that armed conflict, Azerbaijan committed grave violations of the CERD”.
The Applicant alleges that “[e]ven after the end of hostilities”, following a ceasefire which entered into effect on 10 November 2020, “Azerbaijan has continued to engage in the murder, torture and other abuse of Armenian prisoners of war, hostages and other detained persons”.
In the Application, Armenia claims, inter alia, that Azerbaijan “is responsible for violating the CERD, including Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7”. Armenia further contends that “[a]ll good-faith efforts by Armenia to put an end to Azerbaijan’s violations of the CERD through other means [have] failed”.
Armenia therefore requests the Court “to hold Azerbaijan responsible for its violations of the CERD, to prevent future harm, and to redress the harm that has already been caused”.
As a basis for the Court’s jurisdiction, the Applicant invokes Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Court and Article 22 of the CERD, to which both States are Parties.
The Application also contains a Request for the indication of provisional measures, filed pursuant to Article 41 of the Statute of the Court and Articles 73, 74 and 75 of the Rules of Court.
According to the Applicant, the purpose of its Request is to “protect and preserve Armenia’s rights and the rights of Armenians from further harm, and to prevent the aggravation or extension of this dispute, pending the determination of the merits of the issues raised in the Application”.
Armenia thus requests the Court to indicate certain provisional measures “as a matter of extreme urgency.