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“Do not be blind.” Protest action of Artsakh women and mothers in front of the UN Office

Today, women and children of Artsakh, whose husbands, fathers, sons and brothers to confront the aggression of Azerbaijan and who moved to Yerevan as a result of the hostilities in Artsakh, gathered in front of the United Nations (UN) office in Yerevan.


The protesters demanded from the UN to stop the Azerbaijani aggression. They had posters in their hands, on which various appeals addressed to the international community were written in English and Russian. “Do not be blind”, “Recognize Artsakh”, “Terrorism is already under your nose”, “Silence is violence”, “We want peace”. One of the initiators of the action, Irina Safaryan, said that they had prepared a letter, which would be conveyed during the meeting with the UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia Shombi Sharp.


“We want to make our voice heard to the whole world, so that the world does not remain silent. The fact that the international organization makes neutral calls, we understand that the interests speak here, there is nothing humanitarian left. In any case, we do not lose hope that justice will prevail. “At the moment, the only way we can do that is not to keep silent, so that the international community can finally start talking with their eyes open,” she said.


According to her, civilian objects, towns and villages in Artsakh are under shelling, people do not even feel safe in shelters. “It is already the fourth week of war, terrorism, carried out by Turkey and Azerbaijan, we do not see the reaction of the international community. “No severe punishment for stopping this nightmare,” said Irina Safaryan, noting that the only demand of the rally participants is to stop the war.


The women of Artsakh protesting in front of the UN office were joined by Armenians. More than a thousand people marched in the center of Yerevan to the UN office and joined the women of Artsakh. Everyone was waiting for the meeting with the UN Resident Coordinator Shombi Sharp, expecting him to go to Artsakh to see what is happening, to record it and present it to the international community.


As Irina Safaryan later stated on her Facebook page, as a result of the demonstration, they managed to meet with UN Armenia Program Coordinator Shombi Sharp.


The “demonstration” meeting had a special purpose – to present the situation in Artsakh by the very people who reached Yerevan from the front line, from the basements, under the shells, literally from the bombed villages and towns of Artsakh, I even said in my speech that my red bag is the only thing that I was able to take with me when coming to Yerevan.


We mentioned that we are women from different regions of Artsakh who have a direct connection with the war, who left behind a father, a husband, brothers on the front lines. “From the news, but directly from our eyewitnesses,” Safaryan said, presenting some details of the conversation with Shombi Sharp.


Question . Why don’t t you visit Artsakh and present to your headquarters the atrocities taking place there, from the bombing of civilians to the killing of a disabled child and the shooting of prisoners.


– I am entitled to what happened in the territory of the Republic of Armenia, the borders of Artsakh are not under my jurisdiction, according to that I am not allowed to go to Artsakh, otherwise I would have been there at the first opportunity.


Question. You are talking about the borders of Armenia and Artsakh in the case when we are obviously dealing with terrorism. What borders can we talk about if 1000 innocent people die? Do borders decide and stop the UN from its main function, which is to establish peace, prevent terrorism and war. Do not you think that the UN has exhausted itself long ago? Today, in  case of Artsakh as well, by remaining silent, it finally devalues ​​itself. Do not you think that if you remain silent today, your structure will not be worth a penny tomorrow? Was the UN created for that?


– You are right. I completely agree with you that borders are nothing if we are talking about human lives. I understand and sympathize with you in human terms. The UN Office in Armenia is ready to offer its humanitarian aid to all the people of Artsakh in Armenia who need it.


Question. Our demand is that someone sitting at the UN headquarters has compassion and understanding of the human qualities who will be able to move from words to deeds. Of course, we are grateful for the humanitarian aid, but today we do not raise the issue of humanitarian aid, because we have Armenia and Diaspora behind us. We demand from you to establish peace in our country. We want to return to our homes and live there in peace and quiet.


– I understand you, believe me, we are doing everything possible to open a humanitarian pipeline to reach Artsakh. Today we are working in that direction.


According to Irina Safaryan, at the end of the meeting they presented a letter, which summarizes all their demands with the signatures of the women participating in the demonstration. “We look forward to Mr. Sharp’s self-sacrificing efforts at today ‘s UN session. “Otherwise, the struggle will continue,” Irina Safaryan concluded.


Full text in Armenian

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