Armenian Women's Union in North-East Syria remembers Anush Apetyan

The Women's Union of the Armenian Social Council in Northern and Eastern Syria has remembered Anush Apetyan, a female Armenian soldier who was captured, raped, tortured and killed by Azerbaijani military forces a year ago.

While the world is once again turning a blind eye to what is happening in Armenia's Nagorno-Karabakh (Republic of Artsakh), the Women's Union of the Social Council of Armenians in the Autonomous Region of Northern and Eastern Syria recalled the murder of Anush Apetyan, another war crime committed by Azerbaijan against the Armenian population, which went largely unnoticed by the public and has remained without consequences until today.

Armenian soldier Anush Apetyan was captured, raped, tortured and killed by Azerbaijani military forces in September 2022 during a period of ceasefire near Jermuk in the southern Armenian province of Vayots Dzor. Her torturers mutilated her body, put two severed fingers in her mouth and gouged out her eyes, which they replaced with stones. Apetyan's arms and legs were also cut off. On her chest, her killers wrote hate messages against the Armenian people. They filmed the act of violence in detail and distributed the video via Telegram.

Anush Apetyan was 36 years old and left behind three children aged 16, 15 and 4 when she was murdered "in a barbaric way", said Losnak Kafuryan, chairperson of the Armenian Women's Committee in AANES. "We strongly condemn this bestial crime against an Armenian woman. It is very painful what happened to Anush Apetyan, which abruptly evoked the national trauma of 1915, when 1.5 Armenians and members of other Christian peoples became victims of a Young Turk genocide. The fate of Anush Apetyan was repeated thousands of times.”

But even now, Armenians must fear genocide-motivated crimes, Kafuryan stressed. The humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is already catastrophic due to an internationally tolerated blockade of the Lachin Corridor - the only road connection between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia - which Azerbaijan has maintained for months; food, medicine and petrol are scarce. Then, last Tuesday, authoritarian-led Azerbaijan launched what it described as an "anti-terrorist operation" to occupy the region. Only one day later, the defeated republic had to surrender.

According to Armenian sources, more than 200 people died during the attacks and more than 400 others were injured. The tens of thousands of Armenian civilians now fear being displaced or oppressed by the new Azerbaijani rulers. Thousands of people have already arrived in Armenia. "History seems to be repeating itself. And the whole world is silent again," said Losnak Kafuryan.