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Statement on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh

MEDEL is following with great concern the military escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) Region, and its  impact on civil population’s fundamental rights.

As per the words of the Commissioner for human rights of the Council of Europe, following Azerbaijan’s recent military action and its subsequent control over the region, as of 1 October 2023, 100,483 Karabakh Armenians, including families, many elderly people, women and children, have fled their homes and sought refuge in neighboring Armenia.

All this represents a further deterioration of the humanitarian consequences that they have suffered since 2020, aggravated by the blockade in place since December 2022 of the Lachin corridor which deprived Karabakh Armenians of freedom of access, food, essential goods and services[1].

The high number of requests under art. 39, par. 2, of the Rules of the Court, and the related interim measures decided by the European Court of Human Rights[2], increases the concerns for refugees fleeing the Karabakh region.

Medel calls on the international community to react to a scenario of gross violation of international law and international humanitarian law within the Council of Europe, that represents a further attempt to its future and its ‘common heritage’ of respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, by taking all possible action in order to:

  • ensure the safety of civilians and their fundamental rights;
  • end the military actions that are behind displacements and all violence against those who have remained in the region;
  • urge the Azerbaijani authorities to guarantee the rights of ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh and to adopt a policy of open access and wider publicity on the status of the local population and its well-being;
  • ensure accountability and redress for the victims of any violations of human rights or international humanitarian law, through independent and accurate investigations.

Belgrade, 7.10.23


[1] https://www.coe.int/en/web/commissioner/-/ensure-the-safety-and-human-rights-of-karabakh-armenians
[2] ECtHR press releases of  16.03.2021 and  21.12.22

 

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