Sos Avetisyan, member of Armenian Parliamentary delegation to PACE, addressed a speech at April 19 session. The message reads:
"Thank you very much,
Madam Chair, I also want to thank the rapporteur Ms. Elvira Kovacs for her excellent work because this is a topic that is very important in the Council of Europe, regardless of the fact that we have been discussing this since 1968, when the Framework Convention was accepted.
On this matter, I want to take the opportunity and draw everybody's attention to what is happening or what has been happening in Azerbaijan. I want this dialogue to be constructive.
What we have witnessed when Mr. Edmon Marukyan was demonstrating before us is not just a museum. It is not just a momentary lapse of thinking that Hannah Arendt has defined in her work The Banality of Evil. It is something that we have seen before, that we have seen everywhere on this continent as well, but which we were not able to overcome.
Why do I want to underline this? Because I think that our bodies especially the ECRI - the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance - should be carefully monitoring the situation's development. Because it is not the first time, it is not just a momentary thing, it is something that has been registered in the ECRI report of 2016.
A group of researchers registered what is happening in Azerbaijan. I want to retaliate to what my Azerbaijani colleague said: when your president is calling Armenians dogs, infidels, when there is a hatred basically industrialized by the state, it is hard to achieve peace. We really want to have peace, we want to be constructive, but in this kind of an environment, when you have children taken to the trophy museum, it is hard to imagine.
I want every parliamentarian to go back to their home, talk to their diplomats and say, "is that normal?" Is it normal to keep hostages in an ISIS-style manner? I don't think so. I think that the work of the ECRI should be strengthened. It should be reporting not only case by case when it has its timetable, but it should be reporting on specific cases when there is a flagrant violation of human rights. On the topic of the mines that our Azerbaijani colleague has presented, Armenia has a demining project with the OSCE and the OSCE office was closed down in Yerevan through the effort of Azerbaijan.
There was a demining project in Artsakh which was again undermined by our Azerbaijani colleagues. Azerbaijan has never requested those maps and this is just a gimmick to withdraw our attention from the real issue of the prisoners of war in Azerbaijan. Lastly, as a people which survived a genocide 160 years ago, we value peace. We value it with all our heart. At the same time without dignity, human empathy and justice, peace is hard to achieve. And when a child is taken to the trophy museum to see a mannequin of a deceased soldier, that is not going to help those generations to find peace.
Thank you very much Ms. Elvira Kovacs for your work. I think this direction should be strengthened. I think equality should be strengthened. I think also that the monitoring of the National Minorities Committee should be strengthened.