Politics 13:51 14/12/2022 Armenia

Ombudspersons urge international actors to stop Azeri blockade of Artsakh

The human rights defenders of Armenia and Artsakh, Kristinne Grigoryan and Gegham Stepanyan, released a joint statement on Wednesday, urging the international community to take all possible diplomatic measures to stop the blockade of Artsakh. The full text of the statement is provided below.

"It has been already two days that the only road connecting Artsakh with Armenia and the world remains blocked. The movement of people and goods was deliberately and premeditatedly blocked; 120,000 children, older persons, women and men in Artsakh have found themselves in an existential trap.

As a direct result of the blockade of the movement, 1100 people, including more than 270 children, cannot return home. Patients in need of urgent medical care cannot be transported to Armenia for professional care. The supply of food and medical supplies has stopped.

The right to life, health, an adequate standard of living, freedom of movement, education, and other fundamental rights of 120.000 persons are endangered.

Yesterday, at 18:00, the Azerbaijani side also cut the natural gas supply to Artsakh in these severe winter conditions, applying the same methods they used in march to create a humanitarian crisis. People are deprived of heating, and hot water; medical institutions cannot provide primary medical care, and the educational process in the educational institutions of Artsakh has been stopped.

To "guarantee" the freedom of assembly of Azerbaijani "environmentalists" who blocked the vital road, new groups of "activists" in civilian clothes are being transported to the place where the “protest” is held by the Azerbaijani side. Moreover, there is undeniable proof that there are servicemen of the Azerbaijani special service among the people who have blocked the road. The majority of the participants of the “protest” are representatives of non-governmental organisations who are exclusively financed by the Azerbaijani state.

In parallel, the propaganda of Armenophobia is achieving its purposes, maintaining the level of hatred of ethnic Armenians by the Azerbaijani society. Through the Azerbaijani mass media and social media platforms, the state propaganda machine is fueling hatred and anger of the Azerbaijani public, against the Russian peacekeeping contingent.

Taking into consideration the previous incidents of the targeting and terrorizing of the civilian population, the analysis of all these facts since the beginning of December summarizes the goals of the Azerbaijani state policy: the depopulation of Artsakh of its native Armenian population and their extermination through a humanitarian crisis.

To prevent a new genocide in these conditions, we call upon the governments and international actors involved in the resolution of the conflict to use all possible diplomatic measures to stop the siege and blockade of Artsakh, restore the natural gas supply, and stop the impending humanitarian disaster and to guarantee the rights of the people living in Artsakh."

Source Panorama.am
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