The Armenian Women’s Union condemned the brutal murder of a female Armenian soldier who was captured by Azerbaijani troops, demanding the perpetrators be punished.
Anush Apetyan, a 36-year-old Armenian soldier, was captured alive in the town of Jermuk in Armenia last week. Apetyan was raped, tortured and killed, her body mutilated by Azerbaijani soldiers. The soldiers filmed their acts, which constitute war crimes according to international humanitarian law, and posted the video on social media.
The video also shows dead bodies of many Armenian soldiers, two of them also female.
“We do not accept this crime committed by Azerbaijani soldiers,” Armenian Women’s Union co-chair Helen Erdemyan told Hawar News. “When will these brutal crimes against women end?”
Erdemyan’s co-chair Arby Cyprian, pointing to Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan, said Turkey was “trying to control the world with its male-dominated power mindset”.
Cyprian accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of complicity, saying, “Erdoğan and his gangs rape and kill women to break their will and determination. Women have proven themselves in the Rojava revolution and achieved great success. The Turkish state cannot accept this.”
Fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted again earlier this month after a 44-day war over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020. Turkey provides military support to Azerbaijan in conflict zones. Turkish and Azeri forces have held joint military drills since 2020.
After clashes broke out in 2020, Turkey was also accused of deploying Syrian mercenaries to the conflict area, another act prohibited under international law.
Both Azerbaijani and Turkish officials deny recruitment of mercenaries. However, some Syrian National Army (SNA) sources speaking to Reuters, London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), and Armenia’s ambassador to Russia have all confirmed that Syrian fighters from the Turkish-backed SNA were sent to Azerbaijan.
After recent clashes that killed almost 200 soldiers last week, Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to a ceasefire. Both sides accuse each other of opening fire overnight on Friday and breaking the ceasefire agreement.