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Non-governmental organizations of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh for the protection of the rights of the Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh appeal to the international community, in particular, to PACE member states with request for the recognition of the independence of Nagorno Karabakh and the right of the Armenian refugees to return to Nagorno Karabakh.  

According to the data of the undersigned organizations, as a result of the forced deportation of Armenians from Sumgait, Kirovabad (Ganja), Baku, and other cities of Azerbaijan, about 500 thousand Armenians had to leave the country in the period from 1988-1991. Armenian refugees immigrated to European countries, Russia and the United States. About 360 thousand Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan settled in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Representatives of the organizations also draw the attention of the international community to the fact that as a result of the war in Nagorno Karabakh in 2020, all Armenians from Shushi and Hadrut cities and nearby areas were forced to leave their homes, as these areas were captured by the Azerbaijani army. 

In addition, persisting anti-Armenian rhetoric of hatred in Azerbaijan, ongoing hostilities and sporadic attacks and their consequences, questionable measures of security guarantees which are temporary in nature to begin with threaten people’s safety and ability to live their lives. The current situation results in a consistent migration flow from the Nagorno Karabakh. This environment creates depopulation of the Armenians from the lands in which they’ve lived for centuries. 

Considering the above, as well as the prehistory of the conflict since Stalin's decision to transfer Nagorno Karabakh in 1920 to Azerbaijan, as well as the cruel injustice against the Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan, we appeal to give an opportunity to all direct victims of this conflict, namely the Armenians from Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh, to return to their historical homeland in Nagorno Karabakh, in Shushi and Hadrut areas. 

The precondition for the restoration of justice and respect for the rights of all Armenian refugees should be the understanding that this ethno political conflict can be resolved only on condition of sovereignty, unprecedented recognition of the independence of Nagorno Karabakh. 

Mass killings and pogroms in Sumgait, Kirovabad (Ganja), Baku, and other cities of Azerbaijan in the 90s, wars, which were unleashed in Nagorno Karabakh by Azerbaijan with the aim to eradicate Armenians from Nagorno Karabakh in the 90s, in 2016 and 2020, brutal beatings, barbaric murders, rapes, war and civil crimes – all this is an ironclad evidence and proof of the impossibility of coexistence under the Azerbaijani state. People have a right to live in a safe environment. 

'WE, THE ARMENIAN REFUGEES FROM AZERBAIJAN AND NAGORNO KARABAKH, APPEAL TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND THE MEMBER STATES OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE, TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS TO RETURN AND TO THE SAFE DIGNIFIED LIFE IN OUR HISTORICAL HOMELAND.

Refugee Voice, Advocacy and Rights Protection NGO. Chairperson Oksana Musaelyan. Armenia

Association of Refugee Women, Chairman Ruzanna Avakyan. Nagorno Karabakh 

Union of Refugees in the Name of Justice, Snezhana Tamrazyan. Nagorno Karabakh 

Our House-Armenia, Assistant to the Chairman, Rima Abrahamyan, Armenia

Memory Dignity Justice Association, Chairman Garen Bagdasarian, USA," the statement noted.

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