Since early this morning, the Human Rights Defender of Armenia has been receiving calls from residents of Gegharkunik and Syunik Provinces in regard to the unlawful presence of Azerbaijani armed forces that have been in the territories of grazing fields in the civilian settlements of Armenia since May 12, 2021. This is what Ombudsman Arman Tatoyan wrote on his Facebook page, adding the following:
“Alarms were received from the Vardenis, Kut and Verin Shorzha settlements of Gegharkunik Province, as well as the Goris, Verishen, Khnatsakh, Khoznavar and Vaghatur settlements of Syunik Province.
The studies of the Office of the Human Rights Defender, including the Office’s units in Gegharkunik and Syunik Provinces affirm that the unlawful acts of Azerbaijani soldiers are a gross violation of the rights of the residents living on the border of Armenia. The Office also recorded alarms sounded by the media.
The unlawful presence of Azerbaijani soldiers deprives the residents on the border of Armenia of their opportunity to raise cattle (the only source of income for their families) and use grazing fields, poses a real danger for access to irrigation water and drinking water (for instance, the territory of Sev Lake). The presence of armed Azerbaijani servicemen in the mentioned areas presents a real danger for the life and security of these people and undermines their mental immunity. There has been tension in Armenian society since May 12.
The Human Rights Defender of Armenia calls the attention of international organizations to the alarms and records that the mentioned rights of the residents living on Armenia’s border are internationally recognized and are guaranteed by the Constitution of Armenia.