Since the 2016 April War, the Office of the Nagorno Karabakh Ombudsman has undertaken to document the rise and unprecedented level of anti-Armenian rhetoric that has sadly become part of the mainstream discourse in Azerbaijan today. This report presents the second series of findings from the on-going documentation efforts. In doing so, this report exposes a worrying trend of extremist Armenophobia in all segments of Azerbaijani society. More worrying still is the lack of international attention and condemnation at this growing trend.
As the following pages illustrate, extreme Armenophobia has become normalized in an increasingly authoritarian Azerbaijan. It is perhaps no coincidence that this disturbing rise in Armenophobia has gone hand in hand with systematic repressions on much of Azerbaijan’s budding independent civil society. Indeed, as this report documents, anti-Armenian sentiment has become an integral factor in the crackdowns, with pro-democracy dissidents being accused of having Armenian ancestry or part of a wider Armenian conspiracy against the Azerbaijani state. The infamous trope of the Armenians as a convenient scapegoat for domestic political opposition harkens back to the dark days of Nazi Germany.
The report is organized as follows: Chapter 2 documents instances of Armenophobia among state officials and non-state public figures, as well as anti-Armenian elements present in educational material for primary and secondary schools. Great care has been taken to include original citations of all instances and attributable quotes, which can be found throughout the document’s extensive footnotes. Based on these citations as evidence, Chapter 3 considers Armenophobia within the context of international law and presents its resulting violations.