May 15, 2021 – 14:53 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – The Human Rights Defender’s office has traveled to the province of Gegharkunik to learn more about the situation on the border with Azerbaijan, amid the latter’s encroachment on Armenia’s territory in three different areas.
On the morning of May 12, the armed forces of Azerbaijan violated the border of Armenia in the southern province of Syunik, advancing 3.5 kilometers and surrounding Sev Lake, which is situated on the border between the two countries but is predominantly a part of Armenia. On May 13, the Azerbaijani military committed more border violations against Armenia, advancing near Vardenis (Gegharkunik province) and Sisian (Syunik province).
Ombudsman Arman Tatoyan said on Saturday, May 15 that he has been receiving alarming reports from Vardenis, Kut, Norabak, and Verin Shorzha communities of Gegharkunik province in connection with the obviously illegal presence of the Azerbaijani armed forces in the vicinity of said communities.
“Investigations by the Human Rights Defender’s Office, including the Gegharkunik unit, confirm that the criminal actions of the Azerbaijani military grossly violate the rights of border residents of the Republic of Armenia. Residents expressed concerns that the presence of Azerbaijani servicemen in the vicinity of their communities endangered their lives and safety, and disturbed their peace and psychological immunity. They also noted that they can no longer use pastures, and given that they are engaged in cattle breeding, which is the source of income for their families, they can not keep cattle in pastures, and they have concerns for accessibility to irrigation and drinking water resources,” Tatoyan said.
“Armenia’s Human Rights Defender draws the attention of international organizations to the fact that the said rights of the Armenian border residents are internationally recognized and guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia.”
Tatoyan said the results of the fact-finding activities will be summarized and sent to international organizations.