Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia on the abduction of persons transported from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia28 August, 2023
Today, on August 28, at the illegal checkpoint in the Lachin corridor, residents of Nagorno-Karabakh Alen Sargsyan, Vahe Hovsepyan and Levon Grigoryan were abducted by Azerbaijan’s law enforcement agencies. The transportation was agreed in advance and was carried out accompanied by the Russian peacekeeping forces, which, in accordance with point 6 of the Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020, were obliged to monitor the uninterrupted connection between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh through the Lachin corridor. These people were going to Armenia to continue their studies.
Azerbaijan’s step, which follows the abduction of 68-year-old Vagif Khachatryan on July 29, who was being transported to Armenia for immediate medical assistance, accompanied by the International Committee of the Red Cross, is a gross violation of the Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020, legally binding Orders of the UN International Court of Justice and open contempt for the unequivocal and targeted calls of the international community, including voiced by members of the UN Security Council.
These incidents that took place under various false pretexts cause reasonable concerns that Azerbaijan is openly planning to subject the entire population of Nagorno-Karabakh to collective punishment, who during the 90s of the previous century and in 2020 faced the large-scale aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan and had to defend their right to peaceful life in their homeland.
This policy of mass deprivation of all fundamental rights of the entire population of Nagorno-Karabakh regardless of age, gender and health status as well as starvation, blockade of the medical supplies, essential goods, gas and electricity, targeting civilians by snipers and terrorizing the entire population by abductions, blockade of the Lachin corridor shows the real intention of the Azerbaijani leadership by all means to avoid dialogue with Nagorno-Karabakh and instead continue its policy of ethnic cleansing. Instead of supporting the steps to establish peace and stability in the region, Azerbaijan has put all its efforts into failing them.
Prevention of mass atrocities with the use of all available tools is the direct obligation of all actors who can have influence on the situation and, in general, of the civilized world.