Human Rights violation by Azerbaijan


Since December 12, 2022, at around 10:30 am (GMT+4), a group of Azerbaijanis in civilian clothes, presenting themselves as alleged “environmental activists” blocked the only road, Goris – Stepanakert Highway, which passes through the Lachin (Berdzor) corridor connecting Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) with Armenia and the outside world. The so-called “eco-protest” with the documented participation of the Azerbaijani state-sponsored special services agents has proved to be fully orchestrated by the Azerbaijani government.

As a result, the ongoing blockade has physically obstructed the sole road of life of Artsakh for 100 days already, leaving its entire population, 120,000 people, including 30,000 children, in a state of total isolation, facing massive violations of individual and collective human rights, as well as multifaceted existential and security threats.

Along with the ongoing blockade of the Lachin corridor, Azerbaijan has also deliberately disrupted the operation of the critical infrastructure of Artsakh (natural gas supply, electricity supply, Internet and mobile communication) with the aim to further aggravate the already dire humanitarian crisis and cause excessive human sufferings to the Artsakh people.

Moreover, in the period after the Trilateral Statement on Ceasefire, signed by the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Federation on November 9, 2020, the Azerbaijani side has repeatedly grossly violated the provisions of the Statement, resorting to military escalation, disrupting the normal life and activity of the civilian population of Artsakh, initiating physical and psychological attacks and violence against the population.

The ongoing blockade of Artsakh and disruption of vital infrastructure by Azerbaijan, as well as the regular and consistent armed attacks, aim at subjecting Artsakh to ethnic cleansing through physical and psychological intimidation, creating unbearable conditions and destroying the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh.

This report comprehensively presents the constant and significant violations of individual and collective human rights as a result of the blockade of Artsakh by Azerbaijan, which were recorded during the 100 days of the blockade as of March 21, 2023. The report has been prepared on the basis of inquiries addressed to state bodies by the office of the human rights defender (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Artsakh, conducted studies and information received from interviews and open sources.

In each right’s section, certain pictures and human stories are presented with the aim to better reflect the reality. Taking into account the need to protect personal data of people, all pictures are either taken from open sources, or are used with the consent of their authors and the persons depicted on them. Following the same logic, the names of the persons represented in the human stories were changed.

Second press release

Urgent humanitarian situation following the blockade of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)

PARIS, January 30, 2023 – How long can 120,000 people go without gas, electricity, food and medicine in sub-zero temperatures? Winters are harsh in the Caucasus. This does not prevent Azerbaijan from continuing its illegal blockade of the Latchine corridor, the only road linking Armenia to Artsakh. This humanitarian disaster, which began on December 12, has now been going on for 50 days in the shadow of the war in Ukraine, which is rightly attracting international attention.

Like Ukraine, Armenia is a democracy invaded by a dictatorial and expansionist regime. Like the Ukrainian people, the Armenian people are fighting for their freedom and against the tyranny of a state that wants to simply wipe them off the map.

By starving its 120,000 inhabitants (including 30,000 children deprived of education because of the lack of heating in schools) and blocking their only road to survival, Azerbaijan wishes this time to put an end to the thousand-year-old presence of the Armenians on their historic lands. Artsakh, a region populated by Armenians given to Azerbaijan by Stalin in 1921, has been the victim of ethnic cleansing for over a century.

In order to understand this genocidal logic, let us briefly recall the main pogroms committed by Azerbaijan against the Armenian population: the massacre of Shushi (20,000 Armenians killed from 22 to 26 March 1920), Sumgait (27 February to 1 March 1988), Baku (12 to 19 January 1990), Maragha (10 April 1992). Let us also recall the numerous war crimes committed by Azerbaijan since 2020: beheadings, mutilations and rapes of female soldiers, execution of unarmed soldiers, detention and torture of prisoners of war, use of prohibited weapons, etc. This blockade is only the latest manifestation of a series of barbaric acts intended to eliminate any Armenian presence in Artsakh.

Having emerged victorious from the 2020 war, Azerbaijan, having benefited greatly from the help of Erdogan’s Turkey and jihadist mercenaries from Syria, is capitalizing on its military successes to obtain more and more Armenian territory, starting with Artsakh and then aiming at southern Armenia (Syunik). Bypassing the provisions of the treaty of November 9, 2020, Aliyev’s dictatorship has been occupying since September 13, 2022 nearly 150 km2 of sovereign Armenian territory, internationally recognized.

Only a large-scale mobilization could reverse the situation in the face of the power of a hydrocarbon-rich Azerbaijan, which has signed new contracts with the European Union to transport its gas (partially purchased from Russia!), its oil and its electricity. In this respect, France, having already convinced its European partners of the necessity of a new observation mission in Armenia, is also trying to act to unblock this disastrous humanitarian situation.

The Armenian people demand all the attention of the media and the international community to put an end to this blockade which constitutes an act of war in its own right.

First Press Release

Blockade of the Latchin corridor by Azerbaijan between Armenia and Artsakh: ARMARAS collective mobilizes to inform the general public

Paris, January 16, 2023 – Today, more than 120,000 Armenians are cut off from the world due to the illegal blockade of the Latchin corridor connecting Artsakh Armenians to the territory of Armenia, because of Ilham Aliyev’s policy. Faced with this humanitarian crisis, the collective “ARMARAS”, composed of more than 200 volunteers and communication professionals, is mobilizing to raise awareness in the media and the general public about the tragic situation in Armenia and Artsakh. (1)

Since Monday, December 12, the Latchin corridor, the only road connecting the Armenians of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) to the territory of Armenia, has been blocked by a hundred Azerbaijani activists posing as “environmental activists”, thus depriving the Armenians of food, medical care or electricity, in the middle of winter. Since Friday, the only fiber optic cable providing Internet connection to Artsakh from Armenia, as well as the only high-powered power line that provided electricity, have been damaged. The Azerbaijani government refused to allow Artsakh engineers to repair the damage.

This blockade follows the 2020 war, or “44-day war,” which left more than 4,000 Armenians dead and 12,000 disabled. Turkey, Azerbaijan’s historical ally, supported Azerbaijan militarily during this war by providing it with weapons and jihadists, Syrian and Libyan mercenaries, allowing Azerbaijan to gain ground in the region.
For two years, despite the ceasefire agreement signed on November 9, 2020 between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, Azerbaijan has illegally invaded and occupied on September 13 more than 150 km2 of the internationally recognized Armenian territory.
The occupation of these territories located on strategic heights constitutes a violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Armenia, international agreements and the UN Charter.

These attacks, as well as the ongoing blockade of the Latchin corridor, are aimed at forcing Armenia to cede its territory in order to create a territorial continuity between Azerbaijan, its exclave Nakhchivan and Turkey – in a panturistic logic – and to further isolate Armenia by depriving it of its border with Iran.
Faced with the timid reaction of the media on the question of Armenia focused by the war in Ukraine, as well as the gas agreements between the European Union and Azerbaijan, the latter takes advantage of the situation so that Baku obtains a total submission of Artsakh.

ARMARAS: a collective of more than 200 professionals and volunteers
In 2023, a collective of all horizons spontaneously structured itself in order to bring to the media all the documentation necessary to establish the truth on this conflict. This collective is composed of a strategic group that gives the main orientations to the different working groups: social networks, press, digital marketing and international network (USA, Europe and Canada).

For this, ARMARAS proposes several tools:

  1. Organization of conferences
  2. Mapping
  3. Contact with a network of specialists: history, economy, geopolitics…
  4. Photo bank taken on site
  5. Organization of press trips
  6. Contact with fixers

For Armaras: “Our objective is to communicate with the greatest transparency and objectivity the events that are taking place today in the Armenian territory, leaving 120,000 Armenians in despair, without resources, without food, cut off from the world and whose magnitude of the catastrophe is evolving into a second genocide of the 21st century, providing the media and the general public with the elements they would need.”

(1) Artsakh is a landlocked region populated by Armenians and whose territory was arbitrarily given in 1921 by Stalin to the new Republic of Azerbaijan. After the fall of the USSR, the Nagorno-Karabakh war claimed more than 30,000 lives and ended with a cease-fire in 1994 and the self-determination of the territory of Artsakh, which is still not recognized by the international community.