Human Rights Activist Contradicts Officials

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Following the Karabakh presidential elections–Director of the Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan Eldar Zeynalov has begun a campaign intended to discredit numbers of Karabakh refugees reported by the Armenian government.

According to Armenian reports 2,147 Karabakh refugees took part in the polls in Armenia–while according to Zeynalov this is not an accurate number–and therefore–as he put it–Armenia’should not received humanitarian aid for these refugees.

Zeynalov asserts that Armenian sources say there are 54,000 refugees from Karabakh now living in Armenia. Meanwhile–according to the data provided by the Karabakh mission to Armenia–for the period between 1991-1994–66,000 people were deported from Karabakh and the Shahumian region. After the cease-fire was established in May 1994 and up to January 1995 35,000 people returned in Karabakh.

Another 20,000 Karabakh residents returned over the past 18 months. There are no more than 15,000 refugees from Karabakh and Shahumian now living in Armenia–among them a great number of old people and children–while many men are searching for jobs outside Armenia.

Totally more than 500,000 Armenia’s were deported from Azerbaijan and they are still alive as well. Moreover–it is generally known that humanitarian aid is provided to concrete addresses.

None of Zeynalov’s numbers have been confirmed.

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