Azerbaijani servicemen threaten Armenian villagers – Ombudsman

The Azerbaijani servicemen threatened residents of Tegh village in Syunik province with firearms in the sovereign territory of , and did not allow them to gather the harvested grass, Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan alarms.

In particular, on June 26 2021, several residents of Tegh village went to their property lands to collect the grass they had harvested on June 23 and 24.

When they were about 300 meters away from the Azerbaijani position in the administrative territory of Tegh community, they noticed five Azerbaijani armed servicemen approaching them and shouting aggressively.

At a distance of about 150 meters, they started threatening the villagers with weapons, shouting and not allowing them to collect the grass. Two of them behaved more aggressively and demanded from the villagers not to come to those areas at all or try to use the lands.

The incident took place in a place called Andrun Stones, which is located at the intersection of Tegh, Aravus and Khnatsakh villages of Syunik province. The lands of that place are used by the residents of the three villages. There are both privately owned and community-owned lands. There are pastures used by the residents of these three villages to graze their cattle.

The villagers were able to collect the grass only on June 27, when the commanders of the 1st Army Corps of the RA Armed Forces, the heads of the local self-government bodies accompanied them to the area, the Ombudsman says.

This information was submitted to the Human Rights Defender by the villagers and the head of the Tegh administrative community. The information has been checked by the Defender’s Office.

“This criminal act of the Azerbaijani servicemen against the citizens of the Armenia took place in the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia,” the Ombudsman informs.

He notes that such criminal acts of the Azerbaijani servicemen are obviously aimed at depriving the citizens of the Republic of Armenia of other vital rights to live and earn their living.

“All this should be viewed on an ongoing basis, as they regularly commit similar acts (threats to shepherds, theft of animals, etc.) against residents of villages of both Gegharkunik and Syunik Provinces,” Tatoyan says.

He emphasizes that this incident once again proves that protection of Armenia’s population from criminal actions of the Azerbaijani armed forces urgently requires creation of a security zone.

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