Petition urges European Parliament to condemn Azeri aggression against Artsakh

NGO and mass media representtaives from Armenia and Artsakh have launched a petition on, urging the European Parliament to condemn the Azeri aggression against nagorno Karabakh.

The full text of the petition is provided below:

In the early morning of April 2, in a serious breach of the 1994 cease-fire agreement and the 1995 agreement on consolidation of the cease-fire regime, which both have a perpetual nature, the Azerbaijani armed forces have unleashed unprecedented large-scale military actions along the whole Line of Contact between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan. Heavy artillery, tanks and air forces have targeted the positions of the Defence Army of Nagorno Karabakh Republic, as well as the civilian infrastructure and settlements. The Azerbaijani authorities obviously launched the offensive military actions unexpectedly to simply seize some territories, and to distract its population’s attention from ongoing economic turbulences, hundreds of human rights violation, as well as from the rising scandal around President Aliev, revealed in Panama Papers, that billions of dollars were offshored to the companies, registered on the name of Aliev’s daughters and other relatives. As a result, hundreds of soldiers were killed, wounded or are missing in action on both sides.


It is a well-known fact of history that Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh), throughout centuries being populated by vast majority of Armenians, was annexed to Soviet Azerbaijan by the decision of J. Stalin in 1921, in order to please Turkey and develop communist lines in them. During the Soviet era Azerbaijani SSR government conducted systematic Azerification of the region, resulting in the decreased Armenian population (from 95% to 75% in mid-eighties) facing continuous discrimination in political, social, educational and other aspects of life. On 10 December 1991 in a referendum conducted according to international law, Nagorno Karabakh population’s striking majority approved the creation of an independent state. Being furious with these developments, Azerbaijan commenced a large-scale war against the Karabakhi population, which resulted in death of more than 30,000 people on all sides and was resolved by cease-fire agreement on 12 May 1994, by which Azerbaijan government also recognized Nagorno Karabakh as a party to the conflict.      

However, the cease-fire agreement has been continuously violated by oil-rich Azerbaijan, the current dictator of which – President Ilham Aliev, since 2004 has allocated large part of oil revenues for purchasing of weaponry, including offensive weaponry (in violation of norms of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe). Azerbaijan military budget increased more than 20 times in 10 years, as assigned by President Aliev to “draft a military budget equal to the overall budget of Armenia”, accompanied with inflammatory war rhetoric of the leadership of Azerbaijan, claiming Yerevan and other parts of the Republic of Armenia as “ancient lands of Azerbaijan”. It is no surprise, that given the disastrous fall in prices of energy resources resulting in 50% depreciation of the Azerbaijani national currency and dramatic discontent of the population, the Azerbaijani government felt it has no choice, but to breach the cease-fire again, this time in the form of a four-day war.

Azerbaijan has tried to present the UN Security Council resolutions of 1993 as the basis of the conflict settlement by distorting their essence, deliberately ignoring the key and unconditional demand of all four resolutions: immediate cessation of military and hostile acts. Furthermore, the Security Council resolutions call to refrain from any actions that will undermine the peaceful settlement of the conflict – to which Azerbaijan opposes up until now.

Azerbaijani officials did not hide that, in fact, they have started this undeclared war, which is obvious from the numerous statements by President Aliev and well-known and publicly available speech of the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Russia. Following his President, Azerbaijan minister of defence Zakir Hasanov during the Novruz holidays on March 23 stated that soon by one strike “they will return back their territories and destroy the enemies”, which are the Nagorno Karabakh Armenians. It is obvious, that the dictator president of the country with the poorest human rights record, reported cases of tortures of political prisoners and human rights activists, is desperate to show, that his war rhetoric has any value and consolidate the rising anti-governmental moods into the hatred towards the “enemy”.

The large-scale offensive operations unleashed by Azerbaijan against Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic during April 2-5, and still continuing after the cease-fire regime was announced on April 5, are accompanied with gross violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, particularly, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Geneva Conventions of 1949 and its Additional Protocols of 1977, 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child.

From the very beginning of the Azerbaijani offensive civilian infrastructures and civilian population, including children and the elderly have become intentional and indiscriminate targets of their actions. Among the first civilian victims were the 12 years old Vaghinak Grigoryan, who was killed, and two other wounded schoolchildren.

In Talish village of Martakert region of Artsakh, the Azerbaijani soldiers tortured, maimed and killed three members of the Khalapyan family, the eldest of which was Marusya Khalapyan, born in 1924. It is impossible to imagine any justification for such barbarian acts towards the civilians. Along with these atrocities, soldiers of the NKR Defence Army Haik Toroyan, Karam Sloyan, Hrant Gharibyan were all beheaded and maimed in ISIS-style appalling behaviour, after special forces of the Azeri army attacked their positions. The actions of the Azerbaijani army are blatantly violating the abovementioned conventions, customary law on war, as well as are beyond any civilizational elementary norms.

Being convinced that the most effective way to curb Azerbaijan’s military ambitions and exclude further military aggression against Nagorno Karabakh is the recognition of the independence of the Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic by the international community;

We, the undersigned, representatives of non-governmental organizations of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, as well as representatives of mass-media, who worked on the Line of Contact and all over Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic during all the days of military actions,

appeal to you and call to

strongly condemn the atrocities and war crimes, committed by Azerbaijan against Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic and its civilian population,

strongly condemn calls from Turkey and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to Azerbaijan to continue the military aggression against the Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic,

restate that there is no other solution to this conflict than by peaceful negotiations and

urge  the OSCE Minsk Group to restore the status of the Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic as a full-fledged party to the negotiations.

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