Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

Statement on the Actions of the Authorities of the Republic of Armenia under the Aggression of Azerbaijan

November 16, 2021

Activities | Joint | Announcements | State Institutions | Civilian Oversight and Monitoring

The aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan on 27 September 2020 ended on 10 November 2020 by a trilateral declaration through the mediation of Russia, providing for a number of actions in order to establish peace in the region.


Over the last year, however, Azerbaijan not only failed to fulfill its obligations, specifically the release of prisoners of war and captured civilians, but has been openly demonstrating its racist, anti-Armenian, militant and aggressive policy by various statements and actions for one year. It continues the killings of the Armenian inhabitants in Artsakh and proves that not only is not interested in establishing peace, but also has specific aspirations to occupy the territory of Armenia.


Since 12 May 2021 the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan have entered the territory of the Republic of Armenia and carry out military operations that endanger the security of the citizens of the Republic of Armenia, violate the rights of the population of the border villages and are fraught with the dangers of another escalation of the situation.


The next stage of escalation started on 11 November 2021. While the Armenian authorities are slow to turn to international organizations and to initiate delimitation and demarcation processes based on international standards, Azerbaijan has begun to occupy certain parts of Armeniaʼs border area through a “creeping annexation”.


Azerbaijan, which committed to unblock the roads under the trilateral declaration, has set up customs and border crossing checkpoints on the sections of Goris-Kapan and Kapan-Chakaten roads since 15 May 2021. The Azerbaijani authorities are clearly pursuing a policy of actual blockade of the roads, actual isolation of Armenian towns and villages and intimidation of residents, by isolating nine villages (Bardzravan, Shurnukh, Vorotan, Chakaten, Srashen, Shikahogh, Nerkin Hand, Tsav and Shishkert) in the sovereign territory of Armenia, disrupting the normal life of thousands of citizens. including children, their safety, physical and mental health, free movement, as well as violating their rights to education, access to food and medical care and the right to earn an income. The blockade of the said roads, the highway Tatev-Kapan has become overloaded, disrupting the movement and other rights of tens of thousands of more people, including foreign nationals.


In fact, Azerbaijan has attacked the Republic of Armenia and its citizens in order to occupy certain territories ‒ something which is not even concealed by the leader of that country. Obviously, the Russian Federation does not consider it appropriate to intervene, and the partners of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) prefer to maintain bilateral relations with Azerbaijan rather than to fulfill their commitments under the CSTO.


In the current fatal situation, the current authorities of the RA are directly and primarily responsible for ensuring the security of the borders and the citizens of the Republic of Armenia: they must act quickly and decisively, to prevent the human rights violations of the RA citizens and the threats to their security.


Peace cannot be a one-way process. The inaction of the public agencies of the Republic of Armenia against the foreign aggression under the pretext of maintaining peace actually leads to continued encroachments on the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia by Azerbaijan and violations of the rights of the RA citizens.


We demand that the RA Prime Minister and the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs take the following actions immediately:


  • Notify the UN Security Council about Azerbaijanʼs attempts to violate Armeniaʼs territorial integrity and aggressive actions, in order to investigate and assess such attempts and actions;

  • Notify the UN Commission on Human Rights, of which Armenia is a member, the UN Secretary General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe, other relevant international institutions and bilateral partner states; and inform through the diplomatic representations of Armenia in these organizations and states and the international organizations and diplomatic representations in Armenia about the aggressive actions of Azerbaijan and the consequent continued gross violations of human rights;

  • In all the above-mentioned institutions and on all possible international platforms, clearly present the consequences of the continuous Azerbaijani aggression, in particular, the blockade of roads, the setting up of checkpoints, the deployment of Azerbaijani Armed Forces near and regular invasion of Armenian towns and villages and, lastly, stop ignoring the violations of human rights and the humanitarian issues in a post-war situation; and

  • Among all relevant international institutions actively promote the idea of ​​the necessity for creating a security (non-militarized) zone around Armenia and Artsakh, in order to ensure the security of the borders of the Republic of Armenia and the population in the border areas, all the way to the start and successful completion of the delimitation/demarcation process based on international law and with the involvement of organizations, such as the OSCE.


Transparency International Anti-corruption Center
Protection of Rights Without Borders NGO
Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly – Vanadzor
Open Society Foundations Armenia
Long-term Development Center
Centre for Community Mobilization and Support NGO
Goris Press Club
“Free Citizen” CIST NGO
Peace Dialogue
Public Journalism Club
“Freedom of Information Center” NGO
“Educational Center for Equal Rights” NGO
Yerevan Press Club
Law Development and Protection Foundation
“Democracy Today” NGO
“Asparez” Journalistsʼ Club
Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation
Armenian Women’s Initiative
Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression
“Restart Gyumri Initiatives Center” NGO
Media Initiatives Center

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