Western Azerbaijan Community reached to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International

The Western Azerbaijan Community sent letters to the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International asking their involvement in rectifying the situation with respect to the rights of Azerbaijanis violated as a result of ethnic cleansing by Armenia, and persistent refusal by this state to let the expelled Azerbaijanis to return to their homes in Armenia, the Community told News.az.

The letter states the following:

The forced expulsion of the Azerbaijani population from Armenia gave rise to a multitude of flagrant human rights violations that contravene numerous international conventions and treaties, undermining the principles of human dignity and equality. Armenia conducted ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis by massacre, terror, intimidation, illegal seizure of their property, systematic propaganda and dehumanization campaign portraying them as a threat or as lesser beings, restricting their movement and limiting their access to resources. Armenian authorities destroyed graveyards, religious sites, cultural landmarks, and historical monuments of the Azerbaijanis. By doing this, the Government of Armenia not only displaced Azerbaijanis physically but also tried to erase their traces from the landscape.

As a result of Armenia’s ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis in 1987-91, no single Azerbaijani remains today in Armenia. Armenia exacerbates the suffering of hundreds of thousands Azerbaijani expellees by denying them the right to return. Armenia adamantly refuses to engage in a dialogue with us concerning our human rights, despite our repeated calls. This refusal persists, even though we have explicitly reaffirmed our respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of States, along with clarifying that our demand for the right to return should not be misconstrued as detrimental to the territorial integrity of Armenia.

The forced expulsion of the Azerbaijani population from Armenia constitutes an egregious and multi-faceted violation of numerous fundamental human rights principles and international conventions. The relentless perpetration of ethnic cleansing through massacres, intimidation, preaching hatred, and denial of return has left in its wake a trail of human suffering, shattered communities, and profound injustices. Armenia's actions stand in stark contrast to the principles of equality, non-discrimination, and human dignity upheld by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and other international agreements. Urgent and robust international intervention is imperative to rectify these profound violations, restore the rights of the affected population, and affirm the commitment to human rights, justice, and equality.

Certainly, the enabling the right to return shall be in the center of international efforts to restore justice, achieve peace and reconciliation.

Given the gravity and magnitude of these violations and the tasks ahead, we urgently appeal for your office to undertake the following actions, in accordance with your mission and established practice:

Documentation: We kindly ask your professional help in gathering and documenting evidence of human rights abuses, including eyewitness testimonies, photographs, videos, and other forms of documentation relating to the forcible expulsion of Azerbaijanis from Armenia, as well as Armenia’s persistent refusal to let the expelled Azerbaijanis exercises their inherent right to return in safety and with dignity.

Presence, Monitoring and Reporting: We kindly ask your organization to send an inquiry mission to Armenia and maintain a consistent presence in the relevant areas in Armenia to monitor the situation over time, to collect evidence of ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis from the areas, including evidence of destruction and desecration of cultural heritage, and monitor situation relating to safe and dignified return of the expelled Azerbaijanis.

Raising Awareness: We kindly ask you to raise awareness about the ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis from Armenia by providing accurate and detailed information through your reports, publications, and media outreach. This would help inform the international community about the atrocities and human rights violations as well as violations of international humanitarian law committed by Armenia.

Public Campaigns: We kindly request your organization to launch public campaigns to mobilize public opinion and gather support for addressing the ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis from Armenia and Armenia’s persistent refusal to let them return to their homes.

Advocacy: You can use your global reach and influence to advocate for the rights of the expelled Azerbaijanis from Armenia. This can involve engaging with governments, international organizations, and other relevant stakeholders to defend the rights of the expelled Azerbaijanis, and enable their safe and dignified return of without further delay.

Pressure on the Government of Armenia: Your organization could help our human rights cause by lobbying governments and international bodies to take a strong stance against ethnic cleansing committed by Armenia and to use diplomatic, economic, and political tools to address the situation. This includes urging governments to impose sanctions, embargoes, and other measures against Armenia.

Legal Action: We also kindly ask you to help our organization in pursuing legal accountability by advocating for the investigation and prosecution of individuals and groups responsible for ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis from Armenia and obstructing their right to return. This may involve cooperating with relevant international bodies and encouraging national governments to take legal action against perpetrators.

Supporting Victims: Your organization can provide support and resources to victims of ethnic cleansing by Armenia, helping them tell their stories and advocate for justice. This support can empower survivors and their communities to demand accountability and change.

We also cordially invite representatives from your organization to visit our community and explore the possibility of initiating a collaboration that could help work together towards a more just and equitable future.

Your intervention will play a pivotal role in rectifying the profound injustices suffered by the expelled Azerbaijanis, ultimately restoring their inherent human rights and dignity.”

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