Blockade of Artsakh part of Azerbaijan’s policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide – Ombudsman

Blocking of the road linking the Republic of Artsakh to Armenia is part of Azerbaijan’s policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide, Artsakh’s Human Rights Defender Gegham Stepanyan told a press conference at Armenpress.

He called the attention of international human rights organizations to the fact that 120 000 people in Artsakh are currently in blockade. He stressed that Artsakh also lacks air communication with any country of the world.  

“For 24 hours now the basic rights of the people of Artsakh have been violated, and this is being carried out by the Azerbaijani authorities under the immediate instruction of President Ilham Aliyev,” Gegham Stepanyan said.

He said Azerbaijan’s “environmental agenda” is completely fake, and there is information that those blocking the road are getting instructions from Azerbaijani authorities and some even belong to the special services.

Referring to the humanitarian consequences of the criminal acts of Azerbaijan, the Ombudsman noted that no food, no fuel, no medical supplies have been delivered to Artsakh for 24 hours now.  

“The Human Rights Defender’s Office is receiving alarms that the medical supplies in hospitals will be enough for a few days only, and we will face a serious humanitarian crisis should the situation continue,” he said, adding that the same applies to food and fuel.

Gegham Stepanyan said 1,100 people are currently on the roads under the harsh, cold winter conditions, 270 of them children, who are separated from their families.

“This is yet another component of Azerbaijan’s policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide. It is being carried out consistently and systematically,” the Ombudsman said.

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