Armenia’s Ombudsman says Azerbaijani forces are fortifying positions in Gegharkunik, insists on demilitarized zone

The Azerbaijani armed forces that intruded in Armenia’s Gegharkunik region in May, have built large shelters, accumulated a large amount of firewood, and paved the roads leading to their positions, Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan says.

The Ombudsman says they continue to build new roads, increase the number of servicemen and armaments in the positions. They are constantly carrying out active engineering work to reinforce the positions.

“We are talking about the illegal deployment of Azerbaijanis and their criminal acts in the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia,” the Ombudsman reminded, noting that they are physically present in the very lands that belong to the citizens of the Republic of Armenia with the rights established by legal documents.

The data was confirmed by the staff of the RA Human Rights Defender, including the Gegharkunik regional subdivision, with reliable evidence and data verified by several sources.

“These are the Azerbaijani positions from where the Azerbaijani servicemen commit terrorist crimes against the civilian population of Armenia. They regularly fire on the villages of Verin Shorzha, Sotk, Kut and other settlements in Gegharkunik, in particular on civilian houses, and set fire to the pastures and grasslands of civilians. The officers of these positions have committed a large number of thefts of animals of the residents of the Republic of Armenia,” Tatoyan said.

According to him, the presence of the Azerbaijani armed forces in the vicinity of the villages of the Republic of Armenia and in the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia is of an openly criminal nature, it in itself violates the villagers’ to live safely, their rights to property and family income and other vital rights. Their presence disrupts the peaceful life of the people.

Therefore, the Ombudsman insists, the process of creating a demilitarized security zone around the borders of the Republic of Armenia, the immediate removal of Azerbaijani servicemen from the vicinity of the villages of the Republic of Armenia, and the roads between the communities must begin immediately.

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