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Call to condemn the racial hate speech of the Parliament of Azerbaijan

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

The Committee on International Relations of the Parliament of Azerbaijan calls the Armenian Diaspora a "cancerous tumor of Europe"

On 16 March, in a statement issued in response to the European Parliament's resolution of 15 March 2023 on EU-Azerbaijan relations, which called for the lifting of the blockade by Azerbaijan of the only corridor connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia and the rest of the world, the Committee on International Relations of the Parliament of Azerbaijan adopted a statement in which the Armenian diaspora is described as "a cancerous tumor of Europe”.

This characterization of a human group as a "cancerous tumor", expressed by the highest authority of the national representation of a member country of the UN and the Council of Europe, clearly amounts to incitement to racial hatred of Armenians, wherever they may be, because of their ethnic origins. It violates international law, including Article 4.c of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and Article 20 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

What is more, this offensive and racist statement is aimed at the European Armenian Diaspora, a group of survivors of the ethnically motivated genocide of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire and Turkey in the early 20th century. We recall that the history of the 20th century teaches us that mass exterminations are always preceded by calls for racial hatred in the official discourse of the genocidal group, aimed at dehumanizing the victimized groups. This statement comes at a time when the head of the Azerbaijani state, President Aliyev, does nothing to hide his determination to eradicate the indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, and to continue the ongoing invasion of the sovereign territory of Armenia.

We call upon Madame Colonna, the French Minister of European and Foreign Affairs, to publicly condemn this call to hatred and to take the necessary measures to notify the Embassy of Azerbaijan that racism against its citizens has no place in France's relations with its country.

We call on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to sanction two Azerbaijani deputies, Nigar ARPADARAI and Samad SEIDOV, members of the PACE and co-authors of this infamous appeal which denies all the humanist values which are the very foundations of the Council of Europe.

We call on the EU and each of its member states, as well as international human rights and anti-racism NGOs to condemn this call to hatred by Azerbaijan, a state ranked by the NGO Freedom House among the 16 countries with the lowest level of democracy and freedoms in the world, and as state which goes so far as to resort to attempts to politically assassinate its opponents who are refugees in Europe.

This appeal is part of the broader framework of what the European Parliament rightly describes as “a wider pattern of a systematic, state-level policy of Armenophobia” (see EP Resolution of 10 March 2022). It is time for the international community to finally act against a power that follows in the footsteps of the dictatorships of the 20th and 21st centuries.

27 March 2023

Call in PDF format:

Call to Condemn the Racial Hate Speech of the Parliament of Azerbaijan
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Covcas Center for Law & Conflict Resolution, a non-profit association, created in 1991, whose purpose is to support the principles, objectives and actions of the United Nations, in particular in the field of peaceful conflict resolution and the promotion of human rights.

Contact: Hilda TCHOBOIAN, President,

Hyestart, created in 2016, is committed to democracy and human rights in Armenia and Turkey, while supporting contemporary artistic creation. Among its honorary members, it includes the publisher and human rights activist Ragip Zarakolu or the Vice President of Pen, Eugene Schoulgin.

Contact: Alain NAVARRA, President,

L’Observatoire d’Arménophobie was created in 2020 during the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Its purpose is to quantify Armenophobic content, to fight against negationism, disinformation and anti-Armenian hatred.



Texts on racial hatred - Non-exhaustive list

International reports, resolutions and orders (Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaïdjan) - Non-exhaustive list

ECHR’s interim measure in the case Armenia v. Azerbaijan (no. 4) in relation to the Lachin road on 21 December 2022

European Parliament Resolution of 19 January 2023 on the humanitarian consequences of the blockade in Nagorno-Karabakh

European Parliament Resolution of 10 March 2022 on destruction of cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh

“The EP Acknowledges that the erasure of the Armenian cultural heritage is part of a wider pattern of a systematic, state-level policy of Armenophobia, historical revisionism and hatred towards Armenians promoted by the Azerbaijani authorities, including dehumanisation, the glorification of violence and territorial claims against the Republic of Armenia which threaten peace and security in the South Caucasus”.

June 2016 report of the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance

”Political leaders, educational institutions and media have continued using hate speech against Armenians; an entire generation of Azerbaijanis has now grown up listening to this hateful rhetoric”.

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