US State Department mentions Azerbaijan’s offensive against Nagorno Karabakh, closure of Lachin corridor in 2023 Human Rights Report

The US Department of State mentioned Azerbaijan’s offensive against Nagorno Karabakh in September 2023, the closure of the Lachin corridor and the arrest of ethnic Armenian officials in the 2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

“On September 19-20, Azerbaijan conducted a military operation to gain full control over Nagorno-Karabakh. Since December 2022, Azerbaijan had closed the Lachin Corridor to most civilian and commercial traffic, allowing only intermittent humanitarian access until Azerbaijan reopened it on September 24 for one-way traffic out of Nagorno-Karabakh. Between September 24 and October 1, more than 100,000 Nagorno-Karabakh residents – virtually all of the region’s ethnic Armenians – fled to Armenia,” the State Department says in the report on Azerbaijan.

“From December 2022 through April 23, government-supported protesters effectively closed the sole road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia via the Lachin Corridor, leaving it inaccessible to most civilian and commercial traffic from Armenia. On April 23, Azerbaijani authorities established a border checkpoint on the road and continued to restrict most civilian and commercial traffic from Armenia. The closure resulted in shortages of delivery of food, fuel, medicine, and other essential humanitarian supplies to Nagorno-Karabakh residents and hindered their ability to leave the region. These restrictions reportedly resulted in some deaths,” the report notes.

It reminds that the government continued to prosecute detained ethnic Armenian civilians and Armenian soldiers in public trials that lacked elements of due process such as a right to legal representation during questioning, adherence to basic evidentiary standards, and lack of an independent judiciary.

The report also mentioned the arrest of at least eight senior ethnic Armenian Nagorno Karabakh officials.

The State Department stresses that “the government did not take credible steps to punish the majority of officials who were reported to have committed human rights abuses. There was no reported progress on government investigations of alleged abuses committed by Azerbaijani armed forces or individuals during the 2020 and 2022 hostilities.”

Show More
Back to top button