Artsakh

120,000 people deprived of "any humanitarian access" as Azerbaijan blocks Lachin Corridor

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120,000 people deprived of "any humanitarian access" as Azerbaijan blocks Lachin Corridor

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 12, ARMENPRESS. Representatives of the Human Rights Defender’s Office of Artsakh are now in the Lachin Corridor, monitoring the situation and collecting facts, Human Rights Defender of Artsakh Gegham Stepanyan said.

Stepanyan is now in Yerevan participating in the 4th Global Forum Against the Crime of Genocide.

“At this moment, 120 thousand people in Artsakh are simply deprived of any humanitarian access. By doing so, Azerbaijan is once again showing its genocidal and criminal policy,” Stepanyan said.

Stepanyan added that Azerbaijan’s narrative on environmental issues is fake and it a pretext to terrorize the people living in Artsakh.

The Ombudsman called on the participants of the forum and the entire international community to not only speak but also act, because 120,000 people in Artsakh are facing the direct threat of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

He said that almost no one from the international community visited Artsakh and asked the international community to initiate mechanisms to prevent the threat of genocide.

“Right now, the self-described Azerbaijani environmentalists gathered in Lachin Corridor have installed two or three tents and their number is around 30. They are also carrying posters. I can clearly see that these actions are also directed against the Russian contingent, and the recent provocations by Azerbaijani reporters also showed this. They seek to discredit the Russian peacekeepers and prepare grounds for not extending the Russian peacekeeping presence beyond 2025,” Stepanyan said, referring to the 2020 trilateral agreement’s terms.

He said the Russian peacekeeping contingent – in charge of ensuring safety of the Lachin Corridor – are now dealing with the resolution of the issue.

A group of Azerbaijanis describing themselves as “environmentalists” again blocked the Lachin Corridor in the morning of December 12.

The Lachin Corridor is the only road connecting Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) with Armenia.

A similar incident took place earlier on December 3. Then, the authorities of Artsakh said that the self-described Azeri environmentalists were actually secret service operatives seeking to make provocations. Moreover, Artsakh authorities evensaidthey are ready for an international monitoring organization to assess and affirm that the mining operations meet all safety requirements.

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