Hearings were held at the International Court of the UN regarding the claims brought by Armenia against Azerbaijan. Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos, representing Armenia, said that Azerbaijan renamed one of the streets in Khankendi in honor of Enver Pasha, one of the architects of the "Armenian genocide", and Azerbaijani soldiers used chevrons with Enver Pasha's photo and the inscription "Armenian, don't run, you will die tired anyway". "Armenian symbols are destroyed, crosses are blown up, monasteries are destroyed," Sicilianos said, adding that the international convention protects cultural heritage, but despite this, they blew up the Armenian Christian cross erected near Khankendi, Azerbaijan.
Faktyoxla Lab. (Factcheking Lab.) has investigated one of these claims of the Armenian side - the fact of dismantling the "cross" installed near Khankendi.
When conducting research using the "reverse search" method, it becomes clear that indeed, in May 2017, they installed a 50-meter-high "iron cross" on one of the hills in the village of Dashkend (Armenians call it Dashushen-ed.) of Shusha district near Khankendi. Armenians advertised this "iron device", which is said to be erected in honor of the Armenian terrorists who died in Karabakh, by calling it the 2nd highest "cross monument" in Europe.
However, during the investigation, it became clear that this iron device is not a historical monument, as presented, but an antenna-transmitter of an ordinary mobile operator. This fact can be confirmed by several sources.
Source1. In the news published by "Sputnik Armenia" on September 27, 2023, it is said that the Azerbaijani mass media are disseminating information about the suspension of the activity of the mobile communication operator "Karabakh Telecom". It is mentioned in the news of the site:
"Images about the demolition of a 50-meter cross near Khankendi (Dashkend village) have been circulated on social networks. This "cross" actually carried the function of a mobile operator's transmitter."
Source 2. In its article published on September 30, 2023, the "JAMnews" website learned the attitude of the representatives of both sides regarding whether the Karabakh problem has been resolved or not. In a conversation with Arshalyus Arutunyan, a resident of Khankendi, he said that there are difficulties with mobile communication. It is written in the article: "During the preparation of this material, it became known that the Azerbaijani side stopped the activity of Karabakh Telecom. According to the information provided, they demolished the 50-meter "cross" near Khankendi, Azerbaijan. This "cross" was also the transmission tower of Karabakh Telecom.
On the other hand, if you pay attention to the photo, it is possible to see the second antenna made in the form of a cross on the same line above the village of Dashkend, on the mountain. It appears in the form of an ordinary iron construction, simply because no additional costs were incurred for the 2nd antenna.
This photo shows how the "monument" is "provided" with devices specific to the mobile transmission base.
In addition, lawyer Stefan Talmon, representing Azerbaijan at the International Court of Justice, also touched on the "cross" installed near Khankendi in his speech. The European lawyer said that the Armenian side claimed that it was a religious symbol and that the Azerbaijanis disrespected Christianity and demolished it. Stefan Talmon said that actually, this is not a religious object, but a symbol of power and dominance symbolizing the defeat of the expelled Azerbaijani Muslims.
In 2002, with the investment of Lebanese Armenians, Karabakh Telecom was one of the companies that provided illegal mobile phone and internet services in Azerbaijan for 20 years. The original founder of the company was Pierre Fatush, a Lebanese citizen. In 2019, Arayik Harutyunyan added Karabakh Telecom to his business and Fatush left Karabakh.
On September 29, in the city of Yevlakh, Armenian representatives living in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan requested measures to be taken by the relevant state institutions of Azerbaijan to organize mobile communication service, television and radio broadcasting.
- The claim of "demolition of the Armenian Christian cross erected near Khankendi" filed by Armenia at the UN International Court of Justice is speculation.
- The iron device in the shape of a "cross" is not a monument, but a transmission antenna of Karabakh Telecom, which operates illegally in the territory of Azerbaijan.