Nagorno-Karabakh Ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan met with OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Zbigniew Rau on Friday, April 1 and expressed regret over the lack of a clear and targeted response from the OSCE to the violations of the rights of Karabakh Armenians by Azerbaijan.
During the meeting in Yerevan, Stepanyan presented the coordinated, systematic, and consistent policy of ethnic cleansing conducted by Azerbaijan aimed at the deprivation of the homeland of the people of Artsakh, as well as the manifestations of destruction and vandalism of Armenian cultural heritage in the occupied territories, malicious trials of Armenian prisoners of war and civilian captives, other violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.
The Human Rights Defender weighed in on the current humanitarian situation in Artsakh, widespread violations of the rights of the people of Artsakh because of the anti-Armenian policy pursued by Azerbaijan, pointing out the problems caused by the deliberate disruption of gas supply and Azerbaijani military aggression in recent days.
The Ombudsman expressed regret over the lack of a clear and targeted response of the OSCE to the violations of human rights and fundamental principles of international law, emphasizing that in the current situation the international community shall act not only as a mediator but also as a guarantor of the protection of the rights of the people of Artsakh.
Stepanyan noted that the recent developments demonstrated that the effective protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms of the people of Artsakh demands the soonest and most comprehensive settlement of the conflict and solution of the issue of the status of Artsakh based on the respect of the free will of its people and right to self-determination.
Azerbaijan has broken into Nagorno-Karabakh, and the incursion has left three Armenian soldiers dead and at least 14 others injured. On March 24, Azerbaijan stormed into the zone of the responsibility of the Russian peacekeepers stationed in the area and is refusing to completely withdraw its forces from strategic heights.