Statement - Artsakh Crisis (I)
January 18, 2023
The blockade, which has been going on for more than a month, is having devastating consequences on the Armenian population of Artsakh causing a humanitarian crisis. Although the pseudo-environmentalists carrying out the blockade claim to have peaceful goals, any kind of siege constitutes a criminal act and it is far from being a peaceful protest.
The blockade, supported by the Azeri regime, to which intermittent and regular cuts of electricity, internet, and gas are now added, is a violation of international human rights law and international criminal law, in addition to a violation of the tripartite agreement of November 2020, as it creates instability and threatens the ceasefire. The humanitarian consequences are already beginning to be felt by Armenians in Artsakh. They lack medicine, food, and access to basic needs such as healthcare and other emergency services. Hundreds of Artsakhsis, including children, are stranded in Armenia, unable to reunite with their families.
Azerbaijan has the obligation to protect and guarantee the human rights of people under its jurisdiction or control, even when this is contrary to the people's explicit will. Although Armenians in Artsakh have explicitly stated their desire for independence and self-government, Baku continues to prevent their free exercise of the right to self-determination and, therefore, imposes strict control over their lives, controlling every fundamental right.
The exercise of the right to self-determination by Armenians of Artsakh is not only a matter of rights, but also a matter of survival.