Arman Tatoyan: ‘Azerbaijani soldiers put up these signs as a form of open provocation’

“The process of determining the borders cannot be carried out using mechanical means,” the Human Rights Defender of Armenia, Arman Tatoyan, told reporters.

He said that research has been conducted, and they have used maps provided by private companies other than Google, which show what villages are located in Armenia.

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He also spoke about the signs put up on the roads by Azerbaijanis. “Section 21 at the 68-kilometer mark on the road from Goris to Vorotan, Shurnukh, Kapan, and other communities, according to our current calculations, is under Azerbaijani control. But the issue is that, from a human rights perspective, Azerbaijani soldiers are putting up these signs as a form of open provocation. Besides that, they also frequently walk along those roads, wait around, and make observations while obviously carrying weapons, as witnessed by residents. Those roads connect our civilian communities to one another. This also took place as a result of mechanical approaches.”

Arman Tatoyan said that the road is divided into two in Shurnukh. “The homes of civilians are located on the part of the road that is under Armenian control. Children play there every day. And the issue here from the perspective of physical safety, immunity, and other rights is that there are Armenian civilians on this side, and Azerbaijani soldiers on the other.”

He emphasized that this is not only the situation in the wider Goris community, but also near the Kapan airport. Settlements in Kapan are also being threatened. “We have issues when we try to reach the Chakaten, Shikahogh, Srashen, Nerkin Hand, and Tsav villages from Kapan. That road is so critical because it connects our villages to Kapan. And when we drive along that road, there are Azerbaijani flags at several points. It is considered to be under Azerbaijani control because there are flags displayed and soldiers there.”

Arman Tatoyan added that the Armenophobia in Azerbaijan is an institutional policy. “This not only encourages Armenophobia, but have we forgotten the war crimes committed against our people by Azerbaijanis? Was that 200 years ago? That took place only several days ago, and separate war crimes continue. Therefore, we need to discuss the security of our civilians from the context of borders. That is why mechanical approaches are inexcusable. Special committees need to work here, and special research needs to take place.”

Property rights are also being violated. “They are not only deprived of their right to make a living for themselves and are facing serious problems, but they also are deprived of the opportunity to carry out economic activities when large investments have been made in those places. For example, these problems exist in almost all communities. We have been deprived of more than 2,000 privately-owned pieces of land in the wider Tegh community.”

Ami Chichakyan

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