Azerbaijan’s criminal actions violate the rights of Armenian border residents – Ombudsman

The Azerbaijani servicemen violated the rights of the residents of Tegh community of Syunik region of by criminal acts of July 19, 2021, Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan said in a statement.

In particular, on the basis of complaints and alarms, the fact-finding work of the RA Human Rights Defender revealed the following:

First, it turned out that on July 19, 2021, between 10 and 10 in the morning one of the residents of Tegh village, Syunik region, was harvesting grain with a combine on the land owned by him and his family.

The land of the mentioned resident of Tegh village is located next to the positions of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. Nevertheless, for the sake of completeness of the work, the combine operator had to collect the wheat in the marginal parts of the land as well.

When the combine operator finished the work in one of the peripheral sections, he was about 150 meters away from that place, deep in the territory of the Republic of Armenia, he noticed that a number of Azerbaijani armed servicemen were approaching him. The Azeri servicemen threatened the resident of Tegh village with weapon, shouted and dragged him, tried to take him to their positions.

The fact-finding works confirm that the servicemen of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces actually illegally deprived of liberty the farmer, resident of a village in the Syunik region of the Republic of Armenia, who had been harvesting grain on his own land.

The combine operator immediately called the head of the Tegh community. After that, due to the efforts of the community leader, the RA Armed Forces and the command staff of the local Russian border troops, the combine and the combine operator were returned to the Armenian side at around 4:30 pm.

The ombudsman will provide objective evidence of the incident in question, including to international and intergovernmental bodies.

The Ombudsman’s fact-finding work revealed that in addition to the incident, the Azerbaijani armed forces fired on the night of July 19-20, 2021, in the immediate vicinity of the villages of Khnatsakh and Aravus in the Tegh communities, disrupting the peace and peaceful life of the villagers.

The shooting stopped only as a result of preventive measures taken by the Armenian Armed Forces protecting the civilian population.

All the mentioned information was confirmed by the head of the Tegh community and testimonies of the residents, media publications, as well as the official statement of the RA Ministry of Defense on the July 19 incident.

The Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia specifically states that the above-mentioned criminal acts of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, which grossly violate the rights of the civilian population of the Republic of Armenia, should be viewed as a joint intention.

This is also confirmed against the background of the shootings that the Azerbaijani armed forces continue to provoke in other parts of the Armenian border, near civilian settlements, deliberately disrupting the peaceful life of the border population, violating their rights to life, health, property, mental integrity and other vital rights.

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