YEREVAN, Armenia, Sept. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Armenia Project, a Yerevan-based educational non-profit focused on accurate information about Armenia and the region, is calling on the world community to treat with urgency Azerbaijan's aggression on Nagorno-Karabakh, and urges global media to apply a critical filter to false narratives being disseminated by the assailants in Baku.
The call comes after Azerbaijan launched an attack on Sept. 19 against the region, known to Armenians as Artsakh, killing scores of people including unarmed civilians and children. As of Sept. 21, which is Armenia's Independence Day and International Peace Day, attacks continued despite reports of a cease-fire. The move amplifies an apparent ethnic cleansing campaign against the 120,000 Armenians in the disputed enclave, which has been blockaded by Baku since December, drawing charges of genocide by starvation from global jurists.
"We are calling on world leaders gathering at this moment at the United Nations to step in urgently to compel Azerbaijan to end the atrocities committed against ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh," said Gayane Ayvazian, director of the Armenia Project. "This is a time when anyone who values human life, common decency and a rules-based order must step in and force a dictatorship to end what can fairly be described as a genocide."
"Moreover, the situation poses a critical test for the global news media, who too often has ignored Azerbaijan's aggressions and even uncritically passed on false claims," she added. "Journalists must know dictatorships hope for journalistic credulity and indifference when they try to pass on lies to an unsuspecting world."
Azerbaijan justified the attack with false assertions about the need for "anti-terror" operations based on supposed provocations, in particular mining operations against its forces surrounding the enclave. The claims, denied by leaders in Nagorno-Karabakh, could not be validated by any independent observer.
"There is no terrorism, there is no real cease-fire, and the situation is dire and developing by the minute," Ayvazian said.
After the attacks were launched, Azerbaijan warned the local population to leave or else be subjected to more attacks. Many are thought missing, the numbers are unclear. Azerbaijan has also seized more land, but details remain foggy. Local authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh as of last night said so far at least 200 people have been killed, including five children, and over 400 were wounded, of them 13 children. There are reports of massacres in the town of Taghavard. No evacuations have been confirmed.
To enable deescalation, the Armenia Project said, the following must occur:
The enclave, which lies inside Azerbaijan's official borders, has operated as a democratic self-governing entity since the 1990s collapse of communism. The current tensions stem from a 2020 war launched by Azerbaijan in which it seized much of the area, displacing thousands and desecrating Armenian heritage sites in captured territory. Armenia, which suffered thousands of fatalities trying to defend the enclave, is now negotiating with Azerbaijan under the aegis of the US and European Union.
Even as those talks continued, Azerbaijan last December began blocking the Lachin Corridor, the only road access for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia and the outside world, and since June 15 all passage has been entirely blocked, including Red Cross humanitarian missions. Starvation, energy shortages and other deprivation are now widespread.
Last month, former International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo issued a report determining that Azerbaijan's blockade qualifies as genocide under Article II(c) of the Genocide Convention ? a position since backed by others, including former UN genocide advisor Juan Mendez. Testifying before Congress two weeks ago, Ocampo cautioned that signatories to the Convention, like the United States, carry the risk of complicity via inaction.
"Since December 2022, starvation has been the silent weapon in committing genocide in Nagorno-Karabakh, and now a new genocidal method was added ? bombing," Ocampo said in a statement this week. "Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is taking advantage of the distraction created by the war in Ukraine to use genocide to force his victims to accept the end of Nagorno-Karabakh's autonomy. The international community has so far tolerated Aliyev's genocidal actions. It is time to wake up."
In an effort to help global media and the world community understand the reality of the group, The Armenia Project published an explainer available here.
About The Armenia Project:
The Armenia Project (TAP) is an educational non-profit that promotes the democratic and economic development of Armenia by advancing the country's communications ecosystem, ensuring it is robust, accurate and impactful. Through strategic programs and diverse partnerships, TAP raises global awareness about Armenia and the region.
+374 10 520417
SOURCE The Armenia Project
These press releases may also interest you