Armenia’s Borders are Being Changed Under Threat of War, Warns Human Rights Defender

A new sign on a highway in Syunik province (Human Rights Defender Office photo)
The Armenia-Azerbaijan border

The Armenia-Azerbaijan border

The process of determining Armenia’s borders is taking place under the threat of war and use of force, Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan warned in a statement late on Sunday.

The statement, which was Tatoyan share on his Facebook page is provided below.

The presence of Azerbaijani armed forces (flags and signs) on the roads connecting the communities of Syunik Province of the Republic of Armenia contradicts the foundations of the international human rights system, violates the rule of law and, consequently, lacks any legal basis.

They have arrived and appeared in those places because:
1. Ethnic cleansing and genocidal policy towards Armenians was carried out in Artsakh by terrorist with terrorizing methods and means.
2. They tortured and treated inhumanely both the civilians and the military, and committed many other atrocities (beheadings of people alive, desecration of bodies, etc.);
3. Jihadists and ISIS terrorists were used against Artsakh, who in turn, committed war crimes and atrocities against Armenians.
4. The civilian settlements of Artsakh were subjected to deliberate mass destruction, including with the use of banned cluster weapons.
5. From the outset, the war was accompanied and fueled by the state policy of encouraging anti-Armenian hatred and incitement of hostility towards Armenians on the basis of ethnicity (an institutional policy in place for many years).
6. During the war, more than 100,000 Armenian civilians were displaced from their permanent residences, and about 40,000 people were left homeless as the direct consequence of the war.
7. The highest authorities of Azerbaijan and Turkey also speak openly about Armenia and the entire Armenian people by n making use of language of genocidal threats (for example, their utterances during the military event in Baku on December 10, 2020).
8. The highest bodies of the Azerbaijani government. as well as public figures there, go further by making statements insulting Armenians and target the entire Armenian people. This, in order to humiliate, to strip Armenians of their dignity, and so as to encourage same by publicly inciting hatred.
9. The process of determining Armenia’s borders is taking place under the threat of war and use of force.
10. Due to the threat of war, the borders are determined by mechanical methods and at impermissible speeds, without professional work, and with gross violations of international rules.
11. The rights and legal interests of the border residents of Armenia are ignored.
12. The process is accompanied by gross violations of property, economic activity and other socio-economic rights of the border residents of Armenia (people are deprived of their property and left homeless);
13. Serious endangerment of the lives and dignity of the border residents of Syunik and Gegharkunik regions are taking place. Generally speaking, the rights of the entire population of Armenia, their physical safety, mental anguish and overall vitality are all affected;
14.There is no predictability for the residents of border areas as to any action likely to next take place, which in turn has brought to them an uncertainty as to what’s next, and whether there is a schedule of any kind for anything coming up.

Therefore, the determination of borders with the described approaches will not promote the peaceful coexistence of peoples in the region. On the contrary, it will create fertile ground for incessant hatred and enmity towards Armenians in Azerbaijan, continuous gross human rights violations and other dangerous manifestations.

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