On December 12th, for the second time in nine days, a group of Azerbaijani military and civilian servants, claiming to be environmental “activists,” barricaded the only road connecting Artsakh [(Nagorno-Karabakh)] and Armenia. The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention noted this in a statement it released Thursday. The statement continues as follows:
“The Center for Law and Justice ‘Tatoyan’ Foundation has reported that 270 children have been stranded on the roads in winter weather conditions since December 12th, due to the blockade of the road. This number of children has been confirmed by the Human Rights Defender of Artsakh. Several of these children have been separated from their families.
Moreover, reports from Artsakh have confirmed that access to gas has been cut off for all residing in the region and that Azerbaijan’s government also intends to cut off access to electricity. By cutting access to necessary utilities, more than 120,000 civilians (including children and the elderly), hospitals, schools, universities, and kindergartens have been, deliberately, deprived of gas, heating, and hot water. This, in addition to being a blatant violation of human rights, has created a humanitarian crisis in Artsakh.
Currently, there are serious concerns regarding the accessibility of water, food, and medical care in Artsakh. It is clear that the blockade between Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh has no environmental purpose. Cutting the supply of necessary utilities to the Republic of Artsakh is a criminal act which intends to create terror and unbearable conditions of life for the population of Artsakh. These events are not isolated events; they are, instead, being committed within a larger genocidal pattern against Armenia and Armenians by the Azerbaijani regime. Separating Artsakh from Armenia, and isolating and terrorizing ethnic Armenians residing in Artsakh, are both methods of implementing further genocidal policies in the region. These actions also produce fear in Armenia proper and Armenians all over the world, since they demonstrate the criminal capacity of the Azerbaijani regime and the inoperability of the international community that, for the most part, decides to ignore what happens.
The Lemkin Institute, once again, calls on the international community to follow the precedent set by the French National Assembly and the Spanish Congress to protect the Armenian identity in the region, and to condemn Azerbaijan’s actions and policies against Armenia and Artsakh. Sanctions against Azerbaijan must be implemented by world leaders, and all military funding must be stopped with no further delay.”
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