ArmInfo. Artsakh Human Rights Defender Gegham Stepanyan gave an interview to the French news outlet "Ouest France," in which he referred to the blockade of the Lachin corridor by the Azerbaijani fake eco-activists from December 12 and the humanitarian crisis in the country and the ongoing violations of the fundamental rights of the population.
The Ombudsman emphasized the need for the international community to take practical steps, in particular the presence of relevant international missions to get to know the situation on the ground and to take measures to guarantee the right to live safely of the people of Artsakh.
In particular, referring to the humanitarian situation after the 50-day blockade, Stepanyan stated that it is getting worse day by day, there is not enough medicine, food.
"Sugar and rice are provided on coupons. Shops are closed because there is nothing to buy. The goods coming through the Red Cross are very limited. If the road remains blocked, it will lead to malnutrition and hunger. The lives of 120,000 people are at risk. People do not have enough heating and hot water. Schools and kindergartens are closed, leaving 30,000 children deprived of education. Hospitals can no longer perform surgeries. Azerbaijan has cut off gas four times since the blockade began. On January 9 a power line from Armenia was damaged and Azerbaijan prevents our specialists from going to the scene to repair it," he said.
At the same time, the NKR HRD stressed that the blockade has nothing to do with the environment. He reported on the identification of 300 participants in this so-called environmental event. According to him, among them are employees of special services, state-funded organizations, students who are exempted from exams for participating in the action: Stepanyan noted that these facts indicate that this is a criminal action organized by the government of Azerbaijan.
To clarify what Azerbaijan's goal is, the ombudsman said that the goal is to force the Armenian population to leave Nagorno-Karabakh by creating terrible living conditions in order to force them to do so.... all the criminal acts that we observe testify to their genocidal intentions. When asked what Stepanakert expects from the international community, Stepanyan said: immediate actions.
"It is obliged to protect the rights of peoples whose lives are in danger, and I confirm that the lives of my people are really in danger. We are threatened with deportation, murder. Therefore, it must recognize our right to self-determination, the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh and take responsibility for protecting people ", said the Ombudsman.
According to him, this can be done by sending missions to see what is happening on the ground and taking measures to guarantee the people's right to security.
"Human rights should be a priority, but they are subordinated to the political and economic interests of the states. The European Union concluded a gas agreement with Azerbaijan, which invaded Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020! In the case of Ukraine, the international community imposed sanctions on Russia, why not do the same on Azerbaijan?" Stepanyan summed up.