Go back to the Europarl portal

Choisissez la langue de votre document :

  • bg - български
  • es - español
  • cs - čeština
  • da - dansk
  • de - Deutsch
  • et - eesti keel
  • el - ελληνικά
  • en - English (Selected)
  • fr - français
  • ga - Gaeilge
  • hr - hrvatski
  • it - italiano
  • lv - latviešu valoda
  • lt - lietuvių kalba
  • hu - magyar
  • mt - Malti
  • nl - Nederlands
  • pl - polski
  • pt - português
  • ro - română
  • sk - slovenčina
  • sl - slovenščina
  • fi - suomi
  • sv - svenska
 Full text 
XML 2k
Thursday, 10 March 2022 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Destruction of cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh

  Charlie Weimers, author. – Madam President, Commissioner, I witnessed the results of the Islamic State’s cultural genocide against Christians, Chaldeans, Assyrians and Syriacs when I visited Iraq and Syria. Desecrated millennia-old churches, decapitated statues of Mary, destroyed icons, charred pages from Bibles that littered the streets. To destroy cultural heritage is to erase an identity, a history, a nation.

Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev is following in the footsteps of the Islamic State. During the war in 2020, Azeri armed forces deliberately twice shelled the Holy Saviour Cathedral in Shushi. Shortly afterwards, Azerbaijan destroyed the 18th-century St John the Baptist Church.

Reports in satellite imagery have meticulously tracked the systematic destruction of almost 100 medieval Armenian churches, thousands of cross stones and tens of thousands of tombstones. As these sites of religious significance, of history and of culture are destroyed, we may not see them, but we will never forget.

President Aliyev has sought to cover up his crimes by distorting history through the promotion of false Albanisation theories and the erasure of Armenian scripture on churches. We can’t let him get away with it.

Commissioner, colleagues, the EU needs to speak up, condemn the cultural genocide committed by President Aliyev against Armenian Christian heritage sites. Will you hold him accountable for the continued cultural genocide against Armenians? We must sanction him. Palmyra, Maaloula, Qaraqosh, St John’s Baptist Church in Shushi. Lest we forget.

Last updated: 1 July 2022Legal notice - Privacy policy