Paris Mayor Blasts Baku for Arrest of Artsakh Officials

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo with Luis Moreno Ocampo in Paris on Nov. 6

Will Grant ‘Honorary Citizenship’ to Artsakh Residents

Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, blasted Azerbaijan for “arbitrarily arresting” Artsakh officials soon after more than 100,000 Artsakh residents were forcibly displaced from their homes last month.

“The tragedy continues in Armenia. Azerbaijan is guilty of arbitrarily arresting the former officials of Artsakh [(Nagorno-Karabakh)] and destroying the Armenian heritage in this territory,” Hidalgo said in a post on X, which detailed her meeting with human rights advocate Luis Moreno Ocampo, who in a report this summer said Azerbaijan was actively committing genocide of Armenians.

“Yesterday I had the opportunity to discuss it with Luis Moreno Ocampo, the former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the author of the report on the process of genocide carried out by Azerbaijan during the blockade of Lachin corridor,” added Hidalgo.

Ocampo will received the “Champion of International Justice” award during the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region’s annual awards banquet on Sunday.

“Our thoughts are with the casualties, their families, 100 thousand [Armenian] refugees and political prisoners held by Azerbaijan,” she said.

“On December 10, on the occasion of international Human Rights Day, I will hand honorary citizenship of Paris to the representatives of Artsakh Armenians,” Hidalgo announced. “Also, Paris calls for the immediate release of all Armenian captives being held by Azerbaijan.”

Armenian parliament member Arman Yeghoyan said that the European Region Assembly of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (OIF) has adopted a resolution expressing unconditional support to Armenia and particularly the Armenians of Artsakh, Armenpress reported.

Yeghoyan, who is representing Armenia at the assembly, said in a statement on Tuesday that the resolution stresses the need for respect of the rights of Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, and strongly condemns all forms of ethnic cleansing and the destruction of religious and cultural heritage in Artsakh.

Preserving Armenian cultural property in Artsakh was also on the agenda of the general assembly of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property currently underway in Rome.

Armenia was represented at the session by Harutyun Vanyan, Director of the Department of Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments at Armenia’s Education Ministry, and diplomats from the Armenian Embassy in Italy, the ministry said in a statement. Ambassador of Armenia to Italy Tsovinar Hambardzumyan attended the opening session.

Vanyan delivered a report on the issues of preservation of the historical-cultural monuments in Artsakh. He stressed that saving Armenian historical-cultural heritage in Artsakh will only be possible through the pressure and levers by reputable international organizations. Vanyan noted that unfortunately the Armenian heritage in Nakhichevan was not protected in the past during a similar situation.

Specific facts and numbers on vandalisms and destruction of monuments by Azerbaijan were presented at the session. The report also noted the resolutions and decisions adopted by reputable international organizations, which Azerbaijan has been disregarding.

An agreement was reached to cooperate as part of the ICCROM First Aid and Resilience for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAR) project, given the number of at-risk monuments in Armenia.