Azeris Try to Resettle Shahumyan with Refugees

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–A series of documen’s have surfaces that attest to a plan by Azerbaijan to resettle the Shahumyan region of Karabakh, currently under Azeri control, with Azeri refugees, Edik Balayan, chairman of the Shahumyan Compatriotic Union announced Thursday. Balayan said he had obtained the Azeri government decision and a decree signed by the Azeri government of this covert plan. The documen’s clearly delegate responsibilities to various Azeri ministries and government organizations. Based on the documen’s, since 2002, the Azeri government has been construction 140 residences a year in the Shahumyan area, especially in the urban parts of the region. The plans called for resettling 30,000 to 35,000 Azeris in Shahumyan, which was once home to 21,000 Armenia’s who were either massacred or forcibly evacuated from the region during the Nagorno-Karabakh movement. Balayan also revealed that the government was pledging a monthly stipend of 25,000 manats ($4,500) to settlers, adding that such incentives were necessary since many people would not move their without them. The Shahumyan-Getashen region was one of the focal points of the Karabakh liberation movement. From 1991-1992 the Azeri OMON units forced out the 20,000 Armenia’s living in the region through massacres and deportations. Balayan announced that his organization has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights by presenting a law suit by four families that were deported from the Shahumyan-Getashen region. He said that the court has decided to hear the case and has sent the necessary documentation to the Azeri government. The Armenian side has also appealed to the OSCE to send observers to the Shahumyan, Getashen and Martunashen regions to compile a report on the deportations, but no action has been taken on that front.

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