Several United Nations human rights experts issued a statement calling the Azerbaijani government “to take urgent action to ensure the freedom and security of movement through the Lachine Corridor,” which has been blockaded since December 12.
The UN human rights experts emphasized that the Lachin Corridor is the only transport link that connects Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and the outside world “and is of a great humanitarian importance. The blockade has disrupted the delivery of food, medicine, fuel and other essential goods to around 120,000 people living in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
“The humanitarian situation aggravated due to periodic interruptions of gas supply, which undermined the functioning of medical institutions. Educational institutions have also been unable to operate and had stopped their activities,” said the experts.
They expressed serious concern that the prolonged blockade of the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to the outside world can lead to dire humanitarian consequences on the population and violate their rights.
The communication was dispatched by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food; the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities; the Special Rapporteur on the right to education; the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; and the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons.
The five UN experts, known as special procedures mandate holders, are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective.
According to the UN Human Rights website, the experts’ mandate allows them to intervene directly with governments on allegations of violations of human rights that come within their mandates by means of letters which include urgent appeals and other communications. The intervention can relate to a human rights violation that has already occurred, is ongoing, or which has a high risk of occurring. The process involves sending a letter to the concerned State identifying the facts of the allegation, applicable international human rights norms and standards, the concerns and questions of the mandate-holder(s), and a request for follow-up action.