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 Monday, October 9 2023 13:12
Alina Hovhannisyan

Armenia`s former human rights defender publishes evidence of  Azerbaijani armed attack on civilians

Armenia`s former human rights defender publishes evidence of  Azerbaijani armed attack on civilians

ArmInfo.Armenia's former Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan has released videos showing  shelling of civilian infrastructure and population by Azerbaijani armed forces.  

"This evidence proves that the Azerbaijani armed servicemen attacked  civilian communities in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) on September 19,  2023.This is Charektar village in Artsakh. By collecting different  video parts, we were able to establish that the Azerbaijani armed  servicemen fired shots at civilian houses, obviously knowing that  civilians remained in the houses of villages and towns. It is no  coincidence that 18 civilians, including 6 children, were killed by  the latest Azerbaijani attacks on Artsakh," Mr Tatoyan wrote on his  Facebook account. 

The video is available here:  https://www.facebook.com/100017676420633/videos/266698479674063

A United Nations mission, led by Vladanka Andreeva, UN Resident  Coordinator in Azerbaijan, visited the Karabakh region in Azerbaijan  on Sunday, 1 October.  

The team also included Ramesh Rajasingham, the Director of the  Coordination Division of the UN Office for the Coordination of  Humanitarian Affairs, as well as representatives from the Food and  Agriculture Organization, the UN Refugee Agency, UNICEF and the World  Health Organization, as well as a technical team from the UN Office  for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UN Resident  Coordinator's Office and the UN Department of Safety and Security.

In a statement issued following Sunday's mission led by the UN's  Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan, together with other senior agency  officials, they heard and saw for themselves that in the city of  Khankendi at least, there were no signs of damage to public  buildings.

"The mission was struck by the sudden manner in which the local  population left their homes and the suffering the experience must  have caused," the UN team said.

The team added that they did not hear - from either locals  interviewed or others - of incidences of violence against civilians  following the latest ceasefire.

"The team heard from interlocutors that between 50 and 1,000 ethnic  Armenians remain in the Karabakh region."

Saw no damage

During their visit, the UN team travelled from Aghdam to Khankendi,  which is also known by ethnic Armenians as Stepanakert.

In the areas they visited, there was no visible damage to public  infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, housing, or cultural  and religious structures. Additionally, shops were closed.

The team noted that the Government of Azerbaijan was making  preparations to restore health services and certain utilities in the  city.  

The mission did not get access to rural areas, but did not see any  signs of destruction of agricultural infrastructure or livestock.

Lachin route

The mission followed the Lachin road to the border crossing, a route  taken by over 100,000 ethnic Armenians in recent days. They did not  encounter civilian vehicles heading towards Armenia.  

The team said that "it is difficult to determine at this stage  whether the local population intends to return", from the  conversations they were able to have.

What was clear is that there is a need to build trust and confidence,  and this will require time and effort from all sides, the statement  added.

It also called for all efforts to be made to ensure the protection of  the rights of the local population, adding that the UN team in  Azerbaijan stands ready to support the remaining local population and  those who wish to return, in support of the Government of Azerbaijan.  

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