“This is the policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide against the people of Artsakh” -Arman Tatoyan
This is Day 9 of the blockade of Artsakh by Azerbaijan.
As we are recording this discussion, more than 120 thousand people remain trapped in the Republic of Artsakh (or Nagorno-Karabakh). For 9 days, Azerbaijan has brazenly blocked all traffic to and fro, hindering delivery of food and critical supplies.
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Episode 187 | Recorded: December 20, 2022
As we are recording this discussion, more than 120 thousand people remain trapped in the Republic of Artsakh (or Nagorno-Karabakh). For 9 days, Azerbaijan has brazenly blocked all traffic to and fro, hindering delivery of food and critical supplies. Yesterday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) intervened to transport one cardiac patient to Yerevan, which the protesters did let through. Naturally the Azerbaijani authorities are now cynically using the video of that Red Cross truck crossing the corridor as evidence that they haven’t blocked anything.
Another individual was not so lucky. We were very sad to hear yesterday (Monday) that one patient died in the hospital in Stepanakert, reportedly because it was impossible to get them through the blockade in time. There are additional individuals in need of more specialized medical care, who are still in Stepanakert.
We learned today that the United Nations Security Council is due to meet at Armenia’s request. This apparently is the second meeting as on Saturday there was a closed meeting held at the request of France.
Last Thursday, on December 15, the European Court made a decision regarding the request to apply interim measures submitted by Armenia the previous day. The Court decided to give Azerbaijan time until Monday, December 19, at 4:00 p.m. (French time) to send a response to Armenia’s request, after which the Court would make a final decision.
The office of the representative of Armenia on international legal issues appealed to the ECHR, the European Court of Human Rights, yesterday, demanding the application of interim measures against Azerbaijan and obliging the latter to unblock the Berdzor (Lachin) corridor.
The Armenian authorities place the entire responsibility for unblocking the Berdzor-Lachin corridor on the Russian peacekeeping contingent.
Even if the Armenian government were fully convinced that they have no responsibility beyond whipping and berating the Russian peacekeepers, many analysts agree that closing Lachin is the first step by the Turkish-Azeri alliance towards forcing Armenia to relinquish Artsakh, and then agree to the so-called Zangezur corridor. They talk about Zangezur, then Sevan, then Yerevan, all without tanks. A recent poll in Azerbaijan apparently indicates that 63% of Azeris believe that the corridor is essentially a done deal; it will happen.
Even Pashinyan has said that Azerbaijan is planning a genocide against Artsakh Armenians. Others say that this is already in progress.
Pashinyan’s government seems to be content with just complaining to any sympathetic European and American diplomat or politician, but there is no real action on their part to bring our prisoners of war, hostages in Azerbaijan, these are people who have been brutalized and often subjected to torture.
In a conversation a couple of days ago, Siranush Sahakian asserted that there are 113 prisoners who have not returned home, yet Nikol Pashinyan continues to repeat Ilham Aliyev’s claim that there are 39 POWs, and hasn’t done more than a periodic statement about our POWs. In fact, Hungary has done more than the Armenian government, arranging for the return of 5 of our POWs, in a bid to pander to Pashinyan to re-establish diplomatic relations with Armenia, following the ax-murderer Ramil Safarov’s release.
Dr. Arman Tatoyan is the former ombudsman of the Republic of Armenia. Currently actively pursues human rights for Armenians in the republics of Armenia and Artsakh, especially through his foundation, the “Tatoyan” Center for Law and Justice.
Hovik Manucharyan is an information security engineer who moved from Seattle to Armenia in 2022. He co-founded the ANN/Groong podcast in 2020 and has been a contributor to Groong News since the late 1990s.