You are getting worse’, opposition MP tells Armenian authorities

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 18 2021

Back on November 14, the opposition Bright Armenia Party presented a road map on how to get Armenia out of the crisis, but all problems outlined by the opposition party have remained unresolved, Edmon Marukyan, the head of the Bright Armenia parliamentary faction, said at the National Assembly on Monday.

The lawmaker reiterated the call for the country’s “defeated leader” to step down, adding Nikol Pashinyan cannot achieve pro-Armenian decisions during negotiations.

"Our claim was dismissed and condemned by the authorities, but on January 11 our assertion turned into a reality. The issues of internal solidarity, tolerance, social and economic problems … humanitarian crisis are not resolved. The political crisis also persists in the country," the MP said.

According to Marukyan, the authorities do not want to use any opportunity to show the world that they do not agree with what is happening today, that “in the 21st century our brothers and sisters are being kept in Azerbaijani prisons. "Accepting and discussing our agenda was a chance for you to show that you are against the current situation,” he stated.

Marukyan says now the parliament has to discuss the points of the road map proposed by them, even if MPs vote down the bill in the end.

"You continue to silence the opposition, relieving an opposition MP of the post of a committee chairman. You are getting worse, instead of learning lessons and getting better. Let's discuss the steps to take the country out of the crisis," Marukyan noted. 

You are getting worse’, opposition MP tells Armenian authorities

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 18 2021

Back on November 14, the opposition Bright Armenia Party presented a road map on how to get Armenia out of the crisis, but all problems outlined by the opposition party have remained unresolved, Edmon Marukyan, the head of the Bright Armenia parliamentary faction, said at the National Assembly on Monday.

The lawmaker reiterated the call for the country’s “defeated leader” to step down, adding Nikol Pashinyan cannot achieve pro-Armenian decisions during negotiations.

"Our claim was dismissed and condemned by the authorities, but on January 11 our assertion turned into a reality. The issues of internal solidarity, tolerance, social and economic problems … humanitarian crisis are not resolved. The political crisis also persists in the country," the MP said.

According to Marukyan, the authorities do not want to use any opportunity to show the world that they do not agree with what is happening today, that “in the 21st century our brothers and sisters are being kept in Azerbaijani prisons. "Accepting and discussing our agenda was a chance for you to show that you are against the current situation,” he stated.

Marukyan says now the parliament has to discuss the points of the road map proposed by them, even if MPs vote down the bill in the end.

"You continue to silence the opposition, relieving an opposition MP of the post of a committee chairman. You are getting worse, instead of learning lessons and getting better. Let's discuss the steps to take the country out of the crisis," Marukyan noted. 

Russian peacekeepers start demining outskirts of Artsakh’s Martakert

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 18 2021

Specialists of the International Mine Action Center of the Russian Defense Ministry continue to work on demining the territory of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). 

In the course of demining and clearing of the outskirts of the town of Martakert, Russian peacekeepers are using modern robotic systems "Uran-6" and dog mine detection services that ensure the safety of military personnel while performing hazardous works and to maintain a high pace cleaning of terrain in all weather conditions, the ministry said in a statement on Monday. 

Since November 23, 2020, during the operation, engineering units of the Russian peacekeeping forces have cleared about 551 hectares of territory, 205.3 km of roads, 783 houses, including 25 socially significant objects, and detected and neutralized more than 23.7 thousand explosive objects.

Discovered explosive objects and unexploded ammunition are removed and destroyed at a specially equipped landfill. Ammunition that cannot be evacuated is destroyed on the spot with all necessary safety measures provided during blasting operations.

With the assistance of Russian peacekeepers, the restoration of vital engineering communications continues in the areas affected by the war.

Russian peacekeepers start demining outskirts of Artsakh’s Martakert

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 18 2021

Specialists of the International Mine Action Center of the Russian Defense Ministry continue to work on demining the territory of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). 

In the course of demining and clearing of the outskirts of the town of Martakert, Russian peacekeepers are using modern robotic systems "Uran-6" and dog mine detection services that ensure the safety of military personnel while performing hazardous works and to maintain a high pace cleaning of terrain in all weather conditions, the ministry said in a statement on Monday. 

Since November 23, 2020, during the operation, engineering units of the Russian peacekeeping forces have cleared about 551 hectares of territory, 205.3 km of roads, 783 houses, including 25 socially significant objects, and detected and neutralized more than 23.7 thousand explosive objects.

Discovered explosive objects and unexploded ammunition are removed and destroyed at a specially equipped landfill. Ammunition that cannot be evacuated is destroyed on the spot with all necessary safety measures provided during blasting operations.

With the assistance of Russian peacekeepers, the restoration of vital engineering communications continues in the areas affected by the war.

Armenian Ombudsman raises the issue of POWS with Minsk Group Co-Chairs

Public Radio of Armenia
Jan 18 2021

– Public Radio of Armenia

Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan has raised the issue of return of Armenian prisoners from Azerbaijan and protection of their rights in official letters addressed to the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk.

The letter states, among other things, that the return or release of prisoners should be considered solely in the context of human rights or the humanitarian process. The letter applies to both servicemen and civilians.

“The return of prisoners must be ensured immediately after the cessation of hostilities. This is a universal requirement for international action to be automatically applied. Doing the opposite violates international human rights requirements – international humanitarian law, including the Third Geneva Convention 1949,” Arman Tatoyan says.

Therefore, he says, paragraph 8 of the tripartite declaration of November 9, 2020 should be interpreted autonomously and should not depend on other points of the statement.

According to the Human Rights Defender, the tripartite statement of should apply to all situations that may have appeared before and after November 9, as long as there the objective need for human rights protection and humanitarian process arising from the military actions persists.

“It is a matter of fundamental importance that the return of 64 Armenian servicemen captives is delayed by abusing legal proceedings, artificially giving them the status of suspects or culprits, posing them as terrorists and using detention as a preventive measure,” the Ombudsman says

Studies by the Ombudsman of Armenia and the results of the investigation of the complaints come to confirm that the release of the Armenian POWs and other detainees in Azerbaijan is being artificially delayed, and Baku fails to repot the real number of captives. This also contradicts international human rights requirements, violating in the first place the rights of their family members.

Moreover, the evidence collected by the Human Rights Defender’s Office confirms that their number is higher than the Azerbaijani authorities have confirmed.

“All this causes mental suffering to the families of the captives, causes tension in the Armenian society,” the Ombudsman says.

He stresses that the absolute urgency of the issue of the release of prisoners should be considered in the context of “anti-Armenianism” in Azerbaijan, which is encouraged by the country’s authorities and even cultural figures.

Therefore, taking into account the humanitarian mandates and role of the OSCE Minsk Group and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in the protection of human rights and the fact that our compatriots were taken prisoner in Artsakh, the Human Rights Defender has drawn their attention to the mentioned and other issues, stressing the urgent need to take decisive measures towards the release of prisoners.

Armenian Ombudsman raises the issue of POWS with Minsk Group Co-Chairs

Public Radio of Armenia
Jan 18 2021

– Public Radio of Armenia

Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan has raised the issue of return of Armenian prisoners from Azerbaijan and protection of their rights in official letters addressed to the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk.

The letter states, among other things, that the return or release of prisoners should be considered solely in the context of human rights or the humanitarian process. The letter applies to both servicemen and civilians.

“The return of prisoners must be ensured immediately after the cessation of hostilities. This is a universal requirement for international action to be automatically applied. Doing the opposite violates international human rights requirements – international humanitarian law, including the Third Geneva Convention 1949,” Arman Tatoyan says.

Therefore, he says, paragraph 8 of the tripartite declaration of November 9, 2020 should be interpreted autonomously and should not depend on other points of the statement.

According to the Human Rights Defender, the tripartite statement of should apply to all situations that may have appeared before and after November 9, as long as there the objective need for human rights protection and humanitarian process arising from the military actions persists.

“It is a matter of fundamental importance that the return of 64 Armenian servicemen captives is delayed by abusing legal proceedings, artificially giving them the status of suspects or culprits, posing them as terrorists and using detention as a preventive measure,” the Ombudsman says

Studies by the Ombudsman of Armenia and the results of the investigation of the complaints come to confirm that the release of the Armenian POWs and other detainees in Azerbaijan is being artificially delayed, and Baku fails to repot the real number of captives. This also contradicts international human rights requirements, violating in the first place the rights of their family members.

Moreover, the evidence collected by the Human Rights Defender’s Office confirms that their number is higher than the Azerbaijani authorities have confirmed.

“All this causes mental suffering to the families of the captives, causes tension in the Armenian society,” the Ombudsman says.

He stresses that the absolute urgency of the issue of the release of prisoners should be considered in the context of “anti-Armenianism” in Azerbaijan, which is encouraged by the country’s authorities and even cultural figures.

Therefore, taking into account the humanitarian mandates and role of the OSCE Minsk Group and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in the protection of human rights and the fact that our compatriots were taken prisoner in Artsakh, the Human Rights Defender has drawn their attention to the mentioned and other issues, stressing the urgent need to take decisive measures towards the release of prisoners.

Azerbaijani president’s statements became slogans inspiring atrocities against Armenians in Artsakh war, ombudsman says

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 18 2021

The statements of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, along with other public officials and figures became slogans inspiring atrocities against Armenians in the 2020 Artsakh war, Armenia's Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) Arman Tatoyan said in a post on Facebook on Sunday.

"The President of Azerbaijan, and others in positions of authority there, speak of the entire Armenian people and population of Armenia with open threats of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

"They openly insult the dignity of the Armenian people, incite hostility, and they do so to humiliate the personal dignity of every Armenian in the world and every person living in Armenia," the ombudsman wrote. 

"The monitoring of the staff of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia confirms that this is a policy of deep state hatred and enmity towards Armenians. It is institutional in nature and is based on ethnicity and, in some cases, religious affiliation.

"It should always be taken into account that the presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey in Artsakh in 2020, when drawing comparisons of the September-November war with the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire and the massacre of Armenians in Baku, for example, during their respective December 10 speeches, praised their organizers and perpetrators, including members of the Caucasus Islamic Army.

"It is a matter of significance and quite telling that during the torture of the Armenian military and civilians during this war, while beheading Armenians alive, mutilating the bodies of the victims and committing other atrocities, the servicemen of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces use the same words and expressions as the President of Azerbaijan.

"Moreover, the statements of the President of Azerbaijan, along with other public officials and figures became slogans inspiring atrocities against Armenians in this war (for example, "Azerbaijani soldiers chase them like dogs", "Armenia is a worthless country … it is an artificial state created on the ancient lands of Azerbaijan," “Azerbaijan is coming to end Armenian weddings" etc).

"In other words, it is patently clear and rather obvious what the real causes and driving forces of these war crimes are.

"Moreover, these Azerbaijani servicemen are proud of their atrocities, knowing full well that they will be celebrated and showered with praise for their barbarism in their country," Tatoyan said, sharing some of the evidence attesting to all of these, while the remainder is set forth and reflected in the 2020 joint special report of the Armenian and Artsakh ombudsmen. 

Azerbaijani president’s statements became slogans inspiring atrocities against Armenians in Artsakh war, ombudsman says

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 18 2021

The statements of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, along with other public officials and figures became slogans inspiring atrocities against Armenians in the 2020 Artsakh war, Armenia's Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) Arman Tatoyan said in a post on Facebook on Sunday.

"The President of Azerbaijan, and others in positions of authority there, speak of the entire Armenian people and population of Armenia with open threats of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

"They openly insult the dignity of the Armenian people, incite hostility, and they do so to humiliate the personal dignity of every Armenian in the world and every person living in Armenia," the ombudsman wrote. 

"The monitoring of the staff of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia confirms that this is a policy of deep state hatred and enmity towards Armenians. It is institutional in nature and is based on ethnicity and, in some cases, religious affiliation.

"It should always be taken into account that the presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey in Artsakh in 2020, when drawing comparisons of the September-November war with the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire and the massacre of Armenians in Baku, for example, during their respective December 10 speeches, praised their organizers and perpetrators, including members of the Caucasus Islamic Army.

"It is a matter of significance and quite telling that during the torture of the Armenian military and civilians during this war, while beheading Armenians alive, mutilating the bodies of the victims and committing other atrocities, the servicemen of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces use the same words and expressions as the President of Azerbaijan.

"Moreover, the statements of the President of Azerbaijan, along with other public officials and figures became slogans inspiring atrocities against Armenians in this war (for example, "Azerbaijani soldiers chase them like dogs", "Armenia is a worthless country … it is an artificial state created on the ancient lands of Azerbaijan," “Azerbaijan is coming to end Armenian weddings" etc).

"In other words, it is patently clear and rather obvious what the real causes and driving forces of these war crimes are.

"Moreover, these Azerbaijani servicemen are proud of their atrocities, knowing full well that they will be celebrated and showered with praise for their barbarism in their country," Tatoyan said, sharing some of the evidence attesting to all of these, while the remainder is set forth and reflected in the 2020 joint special report of the Armenian and Artsakh ombudsmen. 

One of 3 fallen soldiers found on Sunday identified, Artsakh says

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 18 2021

Three more bodies of fallen soldiers were found during the search operations in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) on Sunday, Hunan Tadevosyan, the head of the press service of Artsakh’s State Service of Emergency Situations, told Panorama.am on Monday.

Two of the bodies were retrieved from Jabrayil, while the third soldier’s body was recovered from Vorotan, he said.

The soldier found in Vorotan has been identified as Arsen Mamikonyan, with his birth date not known yet. The other two servicemen’s identity will be revealed through a forensic DNA analysis, he said.

Search operations continue in the Hadrut, Jabrayil, and Fizuli regions today, Tadevosyan added.

So far, a total of 1,238 bodies of fallen soldiers and civilians have been found during the search operations. 

One of 3 fallen soldiers found on Sunday identified, Artsakh says

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 18 2021

Three more bodies of fallen soldiers were found during the search operations in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) on Sunday, Hunan Tadevosyan, the head of the press service of Artsakh’s State Service of Emergency Situations, told Panorama.am on Monday.

Two of the bodies were retrieved from Jabrayil, while the third soldier’s body was recovered from Vorotan, he said.

The soldier found in Vorotan has been identified as Arsen Mamikonyan, with his birth date not known yet. The other two servicemen’s identity will be revealed through a forensic DNA analysis, he said.

Search operations continue in the Hadrut, Jabrayil, and Fizuli regions today, Tadevosyan added.

So far, a total of 1,238 bodies of fallen soldiers and civilians have been found during the search operations.