Heads of religious confessions in Azerbaijan issue joint statement on Armenia’s vandal policy against Govharagha mosque in Shusha

Baku, October 11, AZERTAC

Heads of religious confessions in Azerbaijan, including Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Office Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade, Archbishop of Baku and Azerbaijan Eparchy Alexander, Head of the Religious Community of Mountain Jews Melih Yevdayev, and Chairman of the Alban-Udi Christian Community Robert Mobili have made a joint statement on aggressor Armenia’s attempt to hide the policy of vandalism against the Govharagha Mosque in the Azerbaijani city of Shusha.

The statement reads:

"Continuing its aggressive deeds one more time the occupant Armenia in a spiritual sense violates the norms of international law against our religious monuments - conventions and other documents adopted by the civilized world on the protection of spiritual heritage. Purposeful terror committed against Juma Mosque - the religious architectural monument built in 1883 by the prominent Azerbaijani architect Karbalayi Safikhan Qarabaghi in honor of Karabakh khan Ibrahim Khalil's daughter Govharagha in the occupied Shusha city of Azerbaijan.

Armenia prepares for provocative so-called “opening” of Govharagha Mosque in Shusha, destroyed by Armenians themselves who also destructed cultural, historical, and religious heritage belonging to Azerbaijani nation in the occupied territories, after repair and restoration works. Armenia tries to deceive international community and tries to show itself as a country, that approaches historical monuments with care, with so-called “opening” of the mosque after “repair” works. It is further obvious example of illegal activity of Armenia and its criminal regime in the occupied territories. The point, disappoints and troubles us, is that, according to the disseminated news, criminal regime carries out the works together with Part Saman Jahan Company of neighbor Muslim country Iran.

Armenian extremists regularly destroying mosques, cemeteries, other temples in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, currently by changing historical view of the mosque behind the veil of fake humanism, under pretext of restoration falsify its ethnic identity, and engaged in removal of cultural heritage belonging to Azerbaijanis, in the occupied lands. Undoubtedly, after the “renovation” the mosque will undergo fake changes, and will be presented with corrections that distort history as it was in ancient Albanian churches and other temples.

We - leaders of the religious confessions in Azerbaijan, strongly condemn this so-called care campaign for the religious and Cultural Monument in Shusha, evaluate the actions of Armenians against our religious and cultural monuments in the occupied territories as a policy of inadmissible extortion that undermines international conventions and declare that there is no any justification for this. Armenian side committing this provocative deeds demonstrates that as always, again avoids the negotiation process for the peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and does not refrain from the hypocrisy to the format of the joint statements made by the religious leaders.

We call on the international community to express their determination against the acts of vandalism against the Govharagha Mosque and the historical and religious monuments in all our occupied territories, referring to the provisions of the Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Armed Conflict (1954), the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Protection Convention (1972), the European Convention for the Protection of Archaeological Heritage (1992), urge them to take serious actions to prevent it to happen again.

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