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Appeal to internationally recognize the Republic of Artsakh

APPEAL

We, organizations dealing with protection of women’s rights and activists,

 

Bearing in mind the principles declared in the Universal Declaration of Human RightsBeijing Declaration and Platform for Action, as well as the UN Security Council  Resolution No. 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security and General Recommendation No. 30 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women on the necessity of fully respecting human rights norms and international humanitarian law and on the protection of the rights of women and girls in conflict situations,  

 

 

Sound the alarm that since September 27, the Azerbaijani armed forces, with the support of Turkey and direct involvement of international terrorists, have intentionally been  targeting civilians, including women and children, in a large-scale war unleashed against the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabagh Republic).   

 

Ignoring the basic norms of the international law, Azerbaijan has been using cluster and other internationally prohibited munitions on residential areas causing tremendous suffering to the peaceful population of Artsakh.

 

 

The incessant shelling of the Republic of Artsakh’s towns and villages, residential buildings, schools and kindergartens, hospitals, and structures of cultural and spiritual value results in numerous casualties among civilians, including women, children and elderly.

 

According to the data presented by Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Artsakh, as of October 17, 31 peaceful residents have been killed, including those mercilessly shot in their houses, and 115 have been wounded, 95 of whom are heavily injured.  Targeted by Azerbaijan’s armed forces, more than 120 civilian residential areas, including densely populated towns and villages, have been seriously damaged, more than 7 800 pieces of real estate and about 1 310 infrastructure, public, and production facilities have been destroyed.  Due to the shelling by the Azerbaijani armed forces, both foreign and local journalists have been wounded.  Attacked are also civilian residential areas and peaceful population on the territory of the Republic of Armenia.  As a result, there are victims and injured, including a 14-year-old child seriously wounded in a drone strike on a population engaged in agricultural work in Gegharkunik marz.  

 

According to the assessment of the Human Rights Defender, the absence of military facilities in the attacked areas proves the deliberate nature of Azerbaijan’s actions, which amounts to a military crime.  The premeditated rocket shelling of the peaceful population has not stopped even after the October 10 agreement on a ceasefire for humanitarian reasons.  

 

 

Today, women, children, and elderly in Artsakh have to shelter in basements lacking basic living conditions for weeks, children are deprived of the right to education as their lives and health are endangered, the whole burden of the survival of families is on the shoulders of women, thousands of people are forced to flee their bombing-ravaged settlements to seek refuge in Armenia.  This humanitarian catastrophe is exacerbated by the dangers of COVID-19 pandemic.

 

It is not the first time that using the atmosphere of impunity conditioned by the unrecognized status of the Republic of Artsakh, Azerbaijan grossly violates fundamental rights and freedoms of the population of this territory, and, first of all, their right to life, and ignores the international humanitarian law and the ban on torture and deportation of citizens.  Since 1991, as a result of the application of all the legal mechanisms of the time, the people of Artsakh, building their own statehood on the basis of democratic norms, have been deprived of the international protection and support even during humanitarian catastrophes due to the unrecognized status of the republic, which is a violation of the principle of universality of human rights.

 

While the international structures concerned about the necessity of demonstrating political neutrality avoid condemning the apparent aggression of Azerbaijan and Turkey and confine themselves to calls on both sides to cease fire and resume the negotiations process on the conflict settlement, the facts recorded every day during the military activities clearly reveal Azerbaijan’s intent to deport and exterminate the Armenian population of Artsakh.  This intent is reinforced also by the continuous nature of anti-Armenian statements, which have been voiced for years both on official platforms and in the online domain preparing the ground for resolving the conflict by violent force.

 

It is painful, but it is a fact that Azerbaijan’s military aggression, use of the prohibited ammunition, targeting of the peaceful population, which is apparently a pursuit of ethnic cleansing, have not been adequately assessed by the international community up to date. No proper response has even been given to the penetration of thousands of terrorists hired by Azerbaijan and Turkey into the region, which – in the context of international fight against terrorism – is commonly viewed as a serious threat to security, peace, and human rights, including to the entire system of women’s rights, and can have irreversible consequences not only for the peoples of this region, but also for the whole world.

 

 

Given the situation, we, who signed below

 

 

  • Emphasizing that there should not be “grey zones” and double standards about the protection of human rights,
  • Inviting the attention to the fact that, today, the unrecognized status of the Republic of Artsakh has become “a justification” for the suffering and death of the peaceful residents and even children living in the Republic,
  • Being convinced that only the international recognition of the Republic of Artsakh can be a definitive and clear prerequisite for stopping the brutal war that is taking numerous lives of women, children, elderly and youth and for eliminating the humanitarian catastrophe in Artsakh,  

 

Appeal to and urge the Governments and Parliaments of the countries of the world

 

To internationally recognize the right to self-determination of the Artsakh people

Considering the immediate recognition of independence as the only stable and reliable guarantee for ensuring the right to life and security of the Armenian population historically living in the territory of Artsakh.  

 

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