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 Wednesday, May 11 2022 20:13
Marianna Mkrtchyan

NKR Ombudsman: The implementation of international security  mechanisms cannot become the basis for another annexation of Artsakh  by Azerbaijan

NKR Ombudsman: The implementation of international security  mechanisms cannot become the basis for another annexation of Artsakh  by Azerbaijan

ArmInfo.In the discourse on the status of Artsakh, it may sometimes be misunderstood that the nisms for security and human  rights protection can serve as a basis for forcibly attaching Artsakh  to Azerbaijan again. Artsakh Ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan wrote on his  Facebook page.

Thus, the ombudsman in particular noted: "Such delusions of the  international community must be completely eliminated, by presenting  not only the numerous war crimes committed by Azerbaijan during the  2020 war, manifestations of Armenophobia having no bounds, but also  the discriminatory and destructive situation for the Armenians of  Artsakh in a certain historical period, during the 70-year  subjugation to the Azerbaijani SSR.

The facts of the recent past recorded in the statistical bulletins of  the soviet times, clearly and unequivocally show the obvious  manifestations of discrimination. Furthermore, special attention must  be paid to the fact that such a discriminatory policy was pursued by  the Soviet Azerbaijani leadership during the period of Soviet  internationalism and declared principles of brotherhood which proves  that no mechanism can stop Azerbaijan from its invariable goal - to  evict Armenians from Artsakh and directly appropriate the territory  of Artsakh.

 Official maps published during the Soviet years show that the  borders and territories of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast  formed in a small part of historic Artsakh have been constantly  changed during the 70 years as part of Soviet Azerbaijan, as a result  of which the NKAO Armenians lost their land connection with Armenia.  Besides, settlements inhabited by Azerbaijanis were artificially  formed near the Armenian communities which were soon removed from the  subordination of the Oblast and placed under the subordination of the  neighboring Azerbaijani regions. Moreover, those Azeri communities  used to be established in strategically important areas - near the  roads, on or nearby of fertile arable lands, with positions  surrounding the Armenian villages and towns from several sides. 

 A policy of changing the demographic composition of the population  of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast in favor of the  Azerbaijanis has always been realized, especially since the 1960s.  This fact was also recorded in an interview with the Azerbaijani  media by the leader of the Soviet Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev in which  he claimed that he pursued a policy aimed at removing Armenians from  the Nagorno-Karabakh and resettling the region with Azerbaijanis. As  a result, the Armenian population of the region which had high rates  of natural growth did not grow, instead, the number of Azerbaijanis  grew. With the opening of the Stepanakert Pedagogical Institute,  thousands of Azerbaijanis had been brought to Stepanakert from the  NKAO adjacent regions who had one task - to stay in Stepanakert after  graduation.  

 An economic discriminatory policy was pursued toward  the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast. High production plans were  set for the NKAO's collective farms that did not correspond to the  potential. In fact, the NKAO produced a lot but received incomparably  less funding from the Baku authorities. This is the case when the  neighboring Azerbaijani regions which did not have such productivity,  had a higher standard of living. The Oblast had become a row material  anchor for the Azerbaijani SSR. A number of institutions and  industrial enterprises were artificially and unjustifiably placed  under the subordination of the regions not part of the NKAO at a  distance of 40-100 km (for example, for a while Stepanakert bakery  was under the subordination of Akna (Aghdam), the Construction  Department of the Oblast was subordinated to Mingechavur (120 km  away), the Stepanakert cement-concrete factory was subordinated to  the Barda Region, 60 km away, and so on). 

Whenever the intelligentsia of the NKAO and Armenian SSR spoke for  the restoration of the historical justice and about returning the  Region to the Armenian SSR, the leadership of Soviet Azerbaijan would  make false projects to improve living standards in the Oblast which  were not implemented but were aimed at throwing dust into Moscow's  eyes and misleading them from the raised dissatisfaction.

 Despite the fact that the Armenian Apostolic Church has been active  in preserving spiritual customs among the Armenians since the 1950s,  the Artsakh Diocese reopened only in 1989. The Armenian churches of  Artsakh were turned into barns and warehouses. While the Muslim  traditions were preserved and freely realized in different  Azerbaijani communities, Armenian spiritual-cultural traditions were  suppressed and eliminated in Artsakh.

 For about 70 years the Armenian population of the Nagorno-Karabakh  Autonomous Oblast was deprived of the opportunity to hear its native  language on TV and to partake in its own culture.  the Region did not  have a separate television, the Armenian TV channel was not broadcast  in the NKAO, and only Azerbaijani television was broadcast, airing  Armenian news twice a week for half an hour about Azerbaijan and  Azerbaijanis.

These are the facts that are recorded in the bulletins and press of  that period. In a letter to the central authorities in Moscow in the  1960s, the intelligentsia of Artsakh expressed the following idea:  "Our condition is even worse now than during the Turkish-Musavat and  British conquest in 1918-1920. Everything happens under the guise of  friendship and brotherhood."

There are also other manifestations of discrimination and separation  of the NKAO Armenians from the Armenians living in the motherland  about which the eyewitnesses and the people who lived at that time  testify:

 You can hardly find houses and buildings made of Armenian pink tuff  in Stepanakert, as it was banned only because it reminded the NKAO  Armenians of Armenia. There had been long disputes over the  construction of the monument "We and Our Monuments" (Tatik-Papik)  with tuff because Baku was against the installation of the monument,  especially made of tuff.

 The streets of Stepanakert were named after the Azerbaijani names  incomprehensible and unknown to the Armenians. There were a few  streets named after prominent Armenian figures who were mainly famous  in Soviet times. 

 They deliberately created obstacles for specialists with higher  education from Yerevan so that they leave the NKAO having no job.

 There was a shortage of many products in Stepanakert, while  everything could be found in the markets of Akna (Aghdam), 40 km away  from Stepanakert. During different events, the people of Stepanakert  used to go to Akna to trade.

Whether the status is a goal or a means - the realities from the  point of view of human rights and the criminal intentions of  Azerbaijan do not change," Stepanyan concluded.  

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