Meeting on the results of the large-scale aggression of Azerbaijan with the Heads of Diplomatic representations and International organizations accredited in Armenia

19 October, 2020

On October 19, in the Foreign Ministry of Armenia, Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Foriegn Minister of Artsakh Masis Mailyan, Human Rights Defenders of Armenia and Artsakh Arman Tatoyan and Artak Beglaryan held a meeting with the heads of diplomatic missions and International organizations accredited in Armenia, with the aim of presenting the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone and the humanitarian consequences of the large-scale aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh.

Artak Beglaryan, the Human Rights Defender of Artsakh presented to the meeting participants a comprehensive report on the damages inflicted as a result of deliberate targeting of the civilian population and infrastructure of Artsakh by the Azerbaijani armed forces. Artak Beglaryan noted that the shelling of civilian settlements is carried out with weapons prohibited by international conventions, which is intended to intimidate and physically annihilate the civilian population, thus ignoring all the fundamental norms of international law aimed at the protection of civilian population.

Artak Beglaryan also drew the attention of the participants to the situation with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic in the territory of the Republic of Artsakh in conditions of hostilities and stressed that the consistent violations of the ceasefire agreements by Azerbaijan and the continuation of hostilities can lead to epidemiological disaster in the territory of Artsakh.

The Ombudsman also informed those present about the cases of extremely cruel treatment, murders, looting and mutilation of bodies of the prisoners of war and the civilian population appeared under the control of Azerbaijan underlining that the videos containing episodes of these inhumane actions by the Azerbaijani armed forces receive a wide positive feedback in the social media of Azerbaijani society.

In his report, the Human Rights Defender of Armenia Arman Tatoyan presented the actions carried out by Azerbaijan against the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, targeting the civilian population and non-military infrastructure, as a result of which the casualties among the Armenian population, as well as serious material damages to the housing stock and social institutions.

Arman Tatoyan touched upon the deliberate and consistent targeting of journalists carrying out their professional activities. The Human Rights Defender emphasized that the media representatives act as human rights defenders in military action spots by illustrating the reality, and in order to hinder these functions, to silence the unbiased coverage of the war in Artsakh, the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan has moved from blatant threats and creating imagined legal barriers to directly targeting journalists and posing threat to their life and security. Arman Tatoyan described this practice as a crime against freedom of speech and a gross violation of international law.

In his speech the Foreign Minister Masis Mayilyan presented the steps undertaken by the Government of Artsakh to mitigate the consequences of military aggression on the civilian population, particularly protecting the civilian population, providing shelter to displaced people and addressing their basic needs. He stressed that in order to overcome the situation in Artsakh, the direct involvement of the international community, especially, the specialized humanitarian organizations, is required.

Masis Mayilyan stressed that the military aggression against the people of Artsakh by Azerbaijan and Turkey using the most advanced weapons and involving the foreign terrorist fighters, combined with gross violations of international law, poses a serious threat to the physical security of the civilian population of Artsakh and the only effective way to counter it might be the recognition of the independence of Artsakh by the international community in exercise of Artsakh's right to self-determination.

Summarizing the meeting, Minister Mnatsakanyan noted that this pre-planned aggression is a continuous manifestation of Azerbaijan’s decades-long policy of isolating the people of Artsakh and exterminating them in their historical homeland. He added that the Azerbaijani aggression would not have escalated if Turkey had not been directly involved in the conflict with its political and military capacities, including the deployment of foreign terrorist fighters in the conflict zone, which poses a serious threat to the lives and vital activities of not only to the lives of civilians in Artsakh, but to the whole region.

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