In the recent days of the almost 200-day-long blockade of Artsakh, the criminal and terrorist policy of Azerbaijan against the people of Artsakh has been increasingly combined with irrefutable facts and manifestations of the use of force and threat of force by Azerbaijan, which targeted persons and equipment engaged in agricultural work, as well as units of the Artsakh Defense Army performing exclusively the function of protecting civilians, Artsakh’s Ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan said in a statement.
“In order to prepare the information basis for the promotion of its own criminal policy, the Azerbaijani side regularly spreads false information about the violations of the ceasefire regime by the Artsakh Defense Army. This was unequivocally confirmed by the statement of the Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov made two days ago: “if they resort to some kind of provocations and illegal actions, then only one corps of the Azerbaijani army can solve the issue of these illegal armed formations – and not even deployed in its full strength”,” the Ombudsman said.
“That is, by regularly accusing the Armenian side of violating the ceasefire, the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan is trying to justify its own violations of the ceasefire, misleading the international actors and insisting on the illegal and unreasonable demand for demilitarization of the armed forces of Artsakh,” he added,” he added.
On June 28, 2023, as a result of another provocation of the Azerbaijani armed forces in the direction of the Martuni and Martakert districts of the Republic of Artsakh, Armo Abgaryan (born in 1969, village of Gishi, Martuni district), Gagik Balayan (born in 1987, village of Gishi, Martuni district), Samvel Torosyan (born in 2003, Stepanakert, Republic of Artsakh), Yervand Tadevosyan (born in 2003, Kashatagh district, Republic of Artsakh), were killed. There are no wounded servicemen reported. All the above-mentioned persons were killed in the places of the permanent deployment of the units of the Artsakh Defense Army as a result of the use of long-range artillery and UAVs by the Azerbaijani armed forces.
“The four persons killed in today’s Azerbaijani military attack are not only servicemen protecting their Homeland and peaceful population from Azerbaijan’s continuous military aggression, but also humans who had families and ordinary lives. Two of them, 54-year-old Armo Abgaryan and 36-year-old Gagik Balayan, were volunteers from Gishi community of Artsakh, whose main activity was agriculture. Armo had two (out of four in total) minor children, while Gagik had four minor children. The Azerbaijani criminal regime is responsible for all these inhuman sufferings and deprivations of Artsakh people, who are still struggling with the devastating consequences of the 2020 war,” Stepanyan said.
“It is noteworthy that even the presence of the Russian peacekeeping mission in Artsakh and the attention of various international actors to the situation in Artsakh do not restrain the aggressive behavior of Azerbaijan, which continues to act with a sense of total impunity,” he concluded.
Speaking of peace, Azerbaijan intentionally misleads the international community, at the same time offering Artsakh people either forced subjugation or expulsion from their Homeland under the explicit use of force and threat of force.
Unless Azerbaijan is punished by ALL international actors for its criminal actions and crimes against the right to life and other fundamental rights of the people of Artsakh, it will use the peace process as a cover for its policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide of Artsakh.