Dear compatriots of Armenia and the diaspora,
On the 12th of December 2022, under the false pretenses of “environmental activism” Azerbaijan closed the Stepanakert-Goris roadway under the Shushi-Karin Tak section, in gross violation of the provisions of the tri-lateral agreement signed on 9 November 2020 by Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
In doing so, Azerbaijan has neglected numerous articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948. Specifically:
- Article 13 – Right to freedom of movement,
- Article 18 – Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion,
- Article 25 – Right to necessary maintenance of the standard of living,
- Article 26 – Right to education.
Further, Azerbaijan has neglected the requirements of Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 12, 1966 – the right of peoples to self-determination and free management of their natural wealth and resources.
This follows the 44 day war of 2020 where Azerbaijan seized 75% of the territory of the Republic of Artsakh (43 settlements), leading to more than 35,000 residents becoming refugees.
The entirety of Artsakh’s population – around 120,000 Armenians, of which 30,000 are children, are now in a complete blockade facing a humanitarian disaster.
While the only road that connects Artsakh to Armenia is closed, what is really blocked is the road to life in Artsakh.
It is this road that supplies Artsakh with food, medicine and all other necessary commodities.
Azerbaijan’s goal is to humiliate the Armenian population, carry out ethnic cleansing, subject them to physical and psychological pressure, and definitively depopulate Artsakh of Armenians.
The fundamental rights of citizens to free movement, education, food and medical care are violated. Moreover, due to Azerbaijan’s aggressive threats, the blockaded Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) has, for a long time now, also been deprived of an air route.
Azerbaijan has created a humanitarian disaster in Artsakh, as a consequence of which:
- Residents are deprived of the opportunity to purchase basic foodstuffs including supplement food for newborns, as well as access to medicine.
- Residents in need of medical assistance are deprived of the opportunity to receive the necessary treatments in appropriate medical institutions of Armenia.
- Children are unable to attend kindergarten or school due to continuing foot shortages and power outages.
- Residents of Artsakh are experiencing regular power outages during the cold winter months. For context, Azerbaijan caused an accident on the high-voltage line powered by Armenia in the Aghavno-Berdzor section and is still hindering the organization of repair works on the site. As a result, the current electricity supply in Artsakh is provided within the limited domestic resource capabilities of Artsakh itself.
- Homes in Artsakh are deprived of heating and/or cooking capabilities due to the gas pipelines being cut by Azerbaijan.
-Residents have unpredictable and intermittent communication capabilities with the outside world due to Azerbaijan’s actions in disconnecting internet cables and mobile connectivity in Artsakh.
- Families have been separated, leaving some family members in the Republic of Armenia while others remain under blockade in Artsakh. Moreover, our students who are now in Armenia are being deprived of their right to education.
- Thousands of jobs within Artsakh have been lost.
Azerbaijan’s actions here are inhumane and are a crime against all humanity, and as such must be strongly condemned by the international community.
At the Artsakh Grigor Narekatsi University the rights of about 1,600 students and 60 employees are currently being violated. As such, on behalf of the academic council, the student council, and the entire faculty and student body, we call on you to speak up and do everything possible, to immediately lift the blockade of Artsakh and prevent another genocide of civilians by Azerbaijan.