UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk has expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. In a statement issued in Geneva, he called for the rights of the ethnic Armenian population to be protected.
“I am following the development of the fragile humanitarian situation with concern. It is important that the rights of the ethnic Armenian population on the ground are protected, and all actions are based on international law,” Türk noted. “The protection of all civilians must be an absolute priority. The victims must have access to humanitarian assistance,” he emphasized.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recalled that it is the responsibility of states to guarantee the right of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities to “enjoy their own culture, practice their own religion or use their own language.” “Each state must also protect the existence and national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity of minorities on its territory,” Türk stated.
In turn, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) expressed its readiness to act as a neutral mediator in resolving the issue of the safe departure of those who decided to leave Nagorno-Karabakh.
“The ICRC stands ready to act as a neutral intermediary and facilitate safe passage operations,” the organization’s Geneva headquarters said. The ICRC called the conditions for its mediation that people wishing to leave must make a “free decision” to leave, as well as the existence of a corresponding request to the Red Cross from the authorities.