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Ombudsman sends report on violation of rights of Armenia’s border residents to OSCE Chair, Minsk Group Co-Chairs

Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan has sent a special report to the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on the violations of the rights of the border residents of Armenia by the actions of the Azerbaijani armed forces.

“With concrete facts and examples the document shows that the actions of the Azerbaijani armed forces, deliberately organized by the Azerbaijani authorities, violate the rights of people living in Gegharkunik and Syunik regions, in the border areas of our country, disrupt security and normal life (examples from Yeraskh community of Ararat region are provided),” the Ombudsman says.

Therefore, he says, restoring the normal life of people, ensuring their rights and security is a priority.

The report analyzes the violations of rights by groups (for example, the right to life, the right to free movement, children’s rights, etc.).

“I have mentioned that alternative roads are not a solution in Syunik, as the safety of the people is not ensured. The Azerbaijani armed forces continue to monitor these roads, civilians and their homes. Moreover, armed servicement are demonstratively present on the roads, in areas visible to civilians, and are committing atrocities that violate human rights,” the Ombudsman says.

“I have substantiated that the the human rights violations in the border areas are nourished by the Azerbaijani authorities’ policy of patronage of Armenophobia and hostility towards Armenians, which has further deepened after the war,” Tatoyan adds.

Therefore, he says, the conclusion is clear, “There should be no Azerbaijani armed servicemen in our villages, in many cases near the houses and on the roads. Moreover, this applies to all their deployments and not only to the May incursions.”

In other words, there must be a demilitarized security zone, the Human Rights Defender insists.

“This does not mean that we thus immediately decide whose territory it is. It will be decided later, at least as a result of delimitation and demarcation that starts in parallel,” the Ombudsman says, adding that for now it’s simply necessary to urgently restore people’s rights and normal life.

In the report the Human Rights Defender emphasizes that on the basis of his proposal, the idea has already been enshrined in a resolution adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on September 27, 2021.

“These approaches of mine are directly derive from the requirements and experience of the OSCE, the UN and other international organizations,” the Ombudsman concludes.

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