Ombudsman: Demarcation can't disrupt life of border residents

March 1, 2021 – 19:20 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – Armenian Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan has said the demarcation of borders with Azerbaijan cannot disrupt the normal life of border residents.

Tatoyan said the fact that the process of “determination” of the borders in the provinces of Syunik and Gegharkunik does not stem from the rule of law and contradicts the principles of international law is proven by the socio-economic violations of the border villages, including property rights.

In particular, some of the problems that have emerged in areas in question are as follows:

1) A person has a legal document confirming the registration of his right to a house or a piece land (for example, a cadastral certificate), but is deprived of that property because it is physically considered an “Azerbaijani” territory (for example, Shurnukh and Vorotan villages of the Syunik region).

2) A person has a document confirming his right to a particular land, but can not, for example, use his land, because it is under direct fire of the Azerbaijani armed forces, who moreover, regularly discharge and shoot their firearms in those places (for example, Srashen, Shikahogh, Nerkin, Syunik region Hand, Aravus, Vorotan, Yeghvard, Agarak villages, Kut, Norabak and, in general, almost all the border villages of Gegharkunik region).

The same problem applies to and persists in community-owned lands and the opportunities for the people to use those lands.

3) A business company has been allocated land by a government decree, but the company is unable to use it because a portion of that specific area is occupied by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces (for example, Sotk community of Gegharkunik region).

4) People are deprived of the opportunity to use pastures, grasslands and gardens because they are either under Azerbaijani control or under targeting by their armed forces (all community settlements on the border of Gegharkunik and Syunik).

According to international rules, Tatoyan said, the right of ownership of border residents, their lands and houses (even addresses), as well as cadastral documents, must be studied and registered in advance. It is necessary to calculate what possible problems may arise for the people and only then prepare for international or interstate discussions, he added.

“The main logic remains that the border demarcation process can not disrupt the normal life of the border residents, their traditional way of life, and it can not violate their rights,” he added.

“There cannot be any conditions imposed upon a person which disrupts his normal life in his own permanent residence simply because his property rights have not been taken into account due to some interstate process of delimitation.”

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