ICRC evacuates 10 patients from blockaded Nagorno-Karabakh

 12:56, 8 September 2023

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 8, ARMENPRESS. 10 patients in Nagorno-Karabakh requiring urgent medical treatment were evacuated on Friday by the International Committee of the Red Cross to Armenia, the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) Healthcare Ministry said in a statement.

Another 3 patients who’ve completed treatment will be transported back to Nagorno-Karabakh by the ICRC later today.

All patients are accompanied by their attendants.

24 children (5 of whom in neonatal and intensive care) remain hospitalized in the Arevik clinic in Nagorno-Karabakh, where hospitals have suspended normal operations due to the Azerbaijani blockade.

Another 92 patients are hospitalized in the Republican Medical Center. 6 are in intensive care, three of whom are in critical condition.

Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia and the rest of the world, has been blocked by Azerbaijan since late 2022. The Azerbaijani blockade constitutes a gross violation of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement, which established that the 5km-wide Lachin Corridor shall be under the control of Russian peacekeepers. Furthermore, on February 22, 2023 the United Nations’ highest court – the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – ordered Azerbaijan to “take all steps at its disposal” to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions.  Azerbaijan has been ignoring the order ever since. The ICJ reaffirmed its order on 6 July 2023.

Azerbaijan then illegally installed a checkpoint on Lachin Corridor. The blockade has led to shortages of essential products such as food and medication. Azerbaijan has also cut off gas and power supply into Nagorno Karabakh, with officials warning that Baku seeks to commit ethnic cleansing against Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.