Azerbaijan attempting to force a final round of ethnic cleansing of Artsakh Armenians, Eduard Aghajanyan tells PACE

Azerbaijan took advantage of the total preoccupation of international community with the Ukrainian crisis, undertaking blatant actions in breach of European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Armenian MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee of Foreign Relations Eduard Aghajanyan said, addressing the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

“More specifically, based on the Government’s request, the European Court of Human Rights indicated interim measures by calling on Azerbaijan to refrain from actions that would contribute to breaches of civilians’ Convention rights and to respect their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,” the MP said.

He noted, however, that despite the foregoing, even after the indication of the interim measures by the Court, Azerbaijan has continued to violate its obligations under the Convention.

“As such, Since February 2022, Azerbaijani armed forces have continuously terrorized the population of the bordering villages of Artsakh through various criminal acts of physical threat and psychological pressure, through direct, threatening and intimidating statements addressed to the civilian population using loudspeakers. In regularly played statements the population of bordering villages are being told to stop farming and leave their homes, otherwise being threatened by physical reprise of their families,” Aghajanyan stated.

He noted that during the same period, On March 7, the gas supply to Nagorno-Karabakh was disrupted, leaving over 150,000 people without heating, with 1.5 meters of snow on the ground and at an unprecedented freezing condition.

“With much international pressure, Azerbaijan restored the gas supply on March 19 only to cut it out again after 2 days,” he added.

“All of the abovementioned is a classic example of an act of ethnic cleansing. And while on international platforms, Azerbaijani officials often state that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is over and that Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh can live peacefully in their homes, on the ground Azerbaijan is attempting to force a final round of ethnic cleansing of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, taking advantage of international community’s distraction by the Ukrainian crisis,” the MP continued.

Despite this, he said, “Armenia remains committed to an agenda of peace in the South Caucasus and sees the final and peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict under the auspices of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship.”

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