Grief and Courage in Nagorno Karabakh | HART Visit Report
Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) release the findings from their November 2020 visit to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. You can download the full report below.
On 27 September 2020, Azerbaijan and Turkey launched a joint-military offensive against the civilian population of Nagorno Karabakh. A ceasefire was agreed after 45 days of fighting, but serious humanitarian and security concerns remain, especially in the context of COVID-19.
We visited Nagorno Karabakh to deliver aid to our partners at The Lady Cox Rehabilitation Centre. We also held meetings with refugees, human rights experts and the Presidents of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. While it was only possible to meet a limited number of people and therefore obtain limited evidence, the consistency of the information and the experiences of those whom we met is inherently disturbing.
URGENT PRIORITIES RAISED IN THIS REPORT:
Maltreatment of prisoners
Despite a ceasefire, reports of brutality against military and civilian prisoners continue to emerge, including torture and beheadings, with claims that the Red Cross is unable to visit many detainees.
Violations of international law
Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, reportedly targeted civilians with tanks, helicopters, drones, heavy artillery, multiple-launch rocket systems, including Smerch, and cluster bombs – in breach of international humanitarian law and Geneva conventions.
According to a Genocide Emergency Alert issued in October 2020 by Genocide Watch, Azerbaijan had reached stage 9, ‘extermination’, and stage 10, ‘denial’ of the ten stages of the genocidal process.
War of Terror
The adoption of tactics of terror reflects a deep hatred of Armenians, stretching back over 100 years to the Armenian Genocide and is reinforced by an unprecedented rise in state-backed anti-Armenian rhetoric.
Neither Azerbaijan nor Turkey has been held to account for its actions, despite widespread evidence of atrocities and war crimes.
An estimated 100,000 refugees urgently need help with accommodation, food and medical care.
The Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh have sufficient evidence to claim the same right to independence as the people of East Timor, Eritrea and Kosovo, who were awarded self-determination for suffering comparable attempted ethnic cleansing.