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December 01
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In response to the denial of the RA Ministry of Defense, the RA Human Rights Defender publishes evidence on the strengthening of the Azerbaijani armed forces in the immediate vicinity of the villages of Gegharkunik Province. This is noted in the statement spread by the Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Armenia, Arman Tatoyan.

"With a clarification on October 19, the RA Ministry of Defense refuted the October 18 statement of the RA Human Rights Defender that the Azerbaijani armed forces which unlawfully invaded the RA Gegharkunik Province are carrying out active fortifications in the immediate vicinity of the RA villages, including road construction, have accumulated a large amount of firewood, etc.

After that, a campaign was actually launched to discredit the activities of the RA Human Rights Defender, which was also joined by the secretary of the NSS [(National Security Council)].

First, the reason for the ombudsman's October 18 statement was that the actions of the Azerbaijani armed forces grossly violated the RA civilian life, safe and peaceful life, property and other vital rights of the Armenian population. (Civilian population is shelled, people are unable to use their land, etc.). Numerous calls and complaints of citizens continue to be addressed to the Ombudsman.

Both this and any other statement by the Human Rights Defender is based on reliable data of fact-finding work.

The purpose of the October 18 statement was to show the illegal actions of the Azerbaijani armed forces and the direct connection of those actions with the violations of the life, property and other vital rights of the RA civilians. The matter is that such actions are followed by their subsequent criminal acts, including terrorist acts, against the [Armenian] civilian population and servicemen, which protect the very life, safe and peaceful life of that population and other vital rights.

Moreover, the mentioned statement was based on facts which the staff of the Human Rights Defender has consistently collected as a result of the daily monitoring and report studies of recent months.

Therefore, the officials of the administrative staff of the Ministry of Defense who decided to make a statement on October 19 questioning the results of the Human Rights Defender's fact-finding work on the unlawful actions of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, should always remember that the Ombudsman never makes statements that are exaggerated or, moreover, have inaccuracies.

In general, if the Human Rights Defender makes a public statement, then he has credible evidence for that—not one, but at least several. Therefore, we demand from those officials of the [defense] ministry not to no longer allow such short-sighted wordings when responding to the statements of the RA Human Rights Defender.

Indeed, using the October 19 denial of the RA Ministry of Defense in their favor, statements were made by local and foreign Azerbaijani sources that the RA Ministry of Defense officially confirms that the reports or allegations of the RA Human Rights Defender on the rights of border residents are false, appealing to various instances, demanded that the Ombudsman's reports and statements no longer be taken as a basis.

Therefore, it should be borne in mind that the Ombudsman's reports and statements are made even if they may cause political grievances, but instead they become a valuable source for the protection of the rights of RA citizens—being used in international instances (…).

And the October 18 statement of the RA Human Rights Defender referred exclusively to the criminal Azerbaijani acts. It did not make any reference to the military serving selflessly in the RA positions.

With this statement, I am publicizing only a few credible evidences, in the form of a short video, confirming the unlawful Azerbaijani invasions into the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia—Gegharkunik Province—, as well as the fortification works by their servicemen in the immediate vicinity of the villages of Gegharkunik Province," reads, in particular, the statement by the ombudsman of Armenia.

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