Danke, Deutschland: NKR Ombudsman commends Bundestag’s recognition of Armenian Genocide

Ruben Melikyan, Ombudsperson of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh Republic) has sent a letter to Kersten Steinke Parliamentary Ombudsperson, Head of Bundestag Petitions Committee. The letter reads:
“Dear Ms. Steinke,

As the ombudsperson of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), I would like to express my gratitude for Germany’s decision to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
The decision of the Bundestag means very much to us. We realize that the only reason behind this decision is Germany’s faith in justice and commitment to universal values. For many years, we had the impression that the Turkish lobby in Germany was so strong that they would always be able to block such recognition. However, your nation proved in the best possible way that no one is able to conceal grave crimes or silence the truth in Germany. And that Human Rights have no borders – neither in time nor in space.

Back in 1915, Germany was in alliance with the Ottoman Empire, and many eyewitnesses of the horrible atrocities against Armenians were German nationals that happened to be assigned for duty in Turkey. Consequently, a significant part of the historical data proving the fact of the Armenian Genocide is kept in the German archives.

Dear Madam,

Unfortunately, during the recent years, the world is undergoing through another phase of turbulence and instability. I believe that six years ago, no one would predict the variety of conflicts and crises that we are facing now, and some currently predict more challenges for democracy ahead, inter alia because of the slow economic growth around the world. Nowadays, our duty is to put a maximum effort for strengthening human rights protection in our counties. I myself serve a young democracy that is committed to the European values. We deem our duty to uphold the European standards of human rights and democracy. For that reason, I would very much appreciate your cooperation in bringing the best practices of human rights protection to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Because of the conflict with Azerbaijan, we lack the presence of international NGOs and human rights watchdogs in our country. But we firmly believe that the presence of NGOs and third party observers in Nagorno-Karabakh would not only strengthen our democracy, but also facilitate the resolution of the conflict. We keep alarming the international community about the violations of the ceasefire by Azerbaijan. Less than two months ago, we even witnessed an all-out armed aggression by the Azerbaijani forces, which, if succeeded, would definitely result in another genocide or ethnic cleansing of the Armenians. We even had a number of ISIS-style war crimes committed by Azerbaijani soldiers during the war (see NKR Ombudsman’s Interim Public Report).

However, there is no third party present here to confirm independently these crimes, which leaves room for speculations and uncertainty. If we had international non-governmental observers, none of these crimes and belligerent actions would remain unconfirmed, and none of the conflict parties would seek a military solution to the conflict, and this would considerably foster the peace process.

Once again, I would like to express my gratitude to you, as a member of Bundestag and the parliamentary ombudsperson, for your historic resolution. Danke, Deutschland!”

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