Practice Relating to Rule 38. Attacks against Cultural Property
Under Armenia’s Penal Code (2003), it is a crime against the peace and security of mankind to make, during an armed conflict,
the clearly-recognized historic monuments, works of art or places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples and to which special protection has been granted, the object of attack, causing as a result extensive destruction thereof, when such historic monuments, works of art and places of worship are not located in the immediate proximity of military objectives and where there is no evidence of the use of such historic monuments, works of art and places of worship by the enemy for military purposes.
In 1997, in its initial report to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Armenia stated:
6. It should be noted that military action took place for the most part within the territory of Karabakh and adjacent districts, where a large number of monuments of Armenian architecture are located. … Regrettably it must be reported that during the conflict most of the Armenian historical monuments were damaged or entirely destroyed. …
7. At the same time the Karabakh side to the conflict, guided by humanitarian considerations, was able to protect and preserve monuments of Azeri culture (mosques at Shaumyan and Agdam and the mausoleum of Vasif).