Refugees from Shahumian Submit Appeal to Minsk Group

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–On Friday–June 12–the date of the Azeri seizure of the Shahumian region of Nagorno-Karabakh–survivors of that event visited the embassies of the OSCE Minsk group co-chairing countries in Yerevan and submitted appeals requesting assistance in resolution of their problems.

Nearly 500,000 Armenia’s deported from numerous of villages in northern Karabakh found asylum in Nagorno-Karabakh–Armenia–Russia–the US–France and other countries. Shahumian residents–currently living in Armenia–do not have refugee status and are regarded as displaced persons. Escaping from Azeri tanks–the Shahumian natives were not able to even salvage their official documen’s. They have lived in public lodging areas with no documentation and no work.

Editor-in-chief of the "Mravi Ghoghandjner" newspaper–Kim Ghaghramanian said that about 500 persons were missing during the deportation–presumably held hostage by Azerbaijan. Ghaghramanian reported that with the help of an Azeri woman–they discovered that about 20 Armenia’s were kept hostage in Mingechaur in very hard conditions and have not been able to inform their relatives about their whereabouts for many years.

A year ago–on June 13–as a result of a similar action on the part of the Shahumian residents–the chiefs of the diplomatic corps of France–Russia–and the US studied the issue deportees from Shahumian and Getashen. This year the first secretaries of those countries’ embassies–Gil Stern–Andrey Laryushin and Louis Licht promised to forward the documen’s to the Minsk group staff.

Licht said that the problem of the residents of Shahumian is not a subject for special discussion and can be solved in the general context of the Karabakh settlement.

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