Visiting Nagorno Karabakh is not a crime, Belgian lawmakers say

Twenty-four Belgian lawmakers have signed a statement condemning the political abuse of Interpol by Azerbaijan and voicing regret over the Azerbaijani authorities’ request for an international arrest warrant against EAFJD President Kaspar Karampetian. The statement reads:

“We regret the fact that the Azerbaijani Authorities requested an international arrest warrant against the President of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) Kaspar Karampetian, for visiting Nagorno Karabakh /Artsakh. EAFJD is a grassroots organization, which uses the tools of civic activism to raise awareness.

Despite the fact that there is no relevant basis in international law that would prevent anyone from visiting Nagorno Karabakh, the Azerbaijani Authorities have been using various methods of intimidation and trying to criminalize visits.

There is no alternative to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Imposing total isolation on the people of Nagorno Karabakh breaches their fundamental rights, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is not a constructive method of conflict settlement.

We are convinced that Interpol should not be used for political persecution or intimidation. We herewith emphasize that a sustainable conflict resolution can be achieved only through an honest dialogue between the sides, including with the people of Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh.”

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