On April 13, Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Artsakh Gegham Stepanyan met with the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Northern Macedonia Bujar Osmani, who is currently in Armenia on a working visit.
Gegham Stepanyan touched upon the policy of ethnic cleansing carried out by Azerbaijan after the establishment of the ceasefire on November 9, 2020, pointing out the specific facts and examples of crimes committed by the Azerbaijani side. The Ombudsman presented the humanitarian consequences of the four-month-long illegal blockade by Azerbaijan and the large-scale violations of the rights of Artsakh people.
The Human Rights Defender noted that ignoring the appeals of international actors and non-compliance with the decision of the International Court of Justice of the UN do not entail any consequences for Azerbaijan, which only further emboldens the impunity and permissiveness of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan responds to the statements and appeals of the international community by further tightening the blockade and by acts that inflict new suffering to the civilian population of Artsakh.
Gegham Stepanyan expressed dissatisfaction with the inadequate and non-targeted attitude of the international community to the humanitarian crisis, noted that the differentiated approaches of the international community to the protection of human rights in the context of various conflicts are incomprehensible and unacceptable, and expressed hope that international partners will take practical steps to lift the blockade and resolve the humanitarian situation.
Stressing the importance of the OSCE’s participation in the settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, the Ombudsman stressed the need to restore the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group format, send an OSCE fact-finding group to Artsakh and establish its permanent presence.
The meeting was attended by the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk.