World Court to hear Azerbaijan objection to Armenia discrimination case

By Thomson Reuters Mar 22, 2024 | 12:39 PM

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will hear objections by Azerbaijan against Armenia’s case accusing Baku of violating a U.N. anti-discrimination treaty in public sittings on April 15 to April 19, it said in a press release on Friday.

Armenia filed the case against its Caucasus neighbour in 2021. Azerbaijan has filed a rival claim accusing Armenia of violating the same treaty.

In November last year, the court issued emergency measures in the case ordering Azerbaijan to let ethnic Armenians who fled the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave last September return.

Last year Azerbaijan recaptured the region, then controlled by its ethnic Armenian majority despite being internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan.

The lightning offensive, after decades of enmity between Baku and Yerevan, prompted the mass exodus of most of the region’s 120,000 ethnic Armenians to neighbouring Armenia.

Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of ethnic cleansing. Azerbaijan says it has pledged to ensure all residents’ safety and security, regardless of national or ethnic origin, and that it has not forced ethnic Armenians to leave Karabakh.

The April hearings will cover legal objections to the jurisdiction of the ICJ, the United Nations’ top court, and will not go into the merits of the discrimination claims.

(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg, Editing by William Maclean)