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Lemkin Institute: Genocidal Intent in Artsakh Blockade Aims for Mass Displacement or Starvation

Lemkin Institute: Genocidal Intent in Artsakh Blockade Aims for Mass Displacement or Starvation

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention has raised a grave alarm, contending that the ongoing blockade of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) by Azerbaijani forces is a genocidal effort aiming to either displace the Armenian population en masse or subject them to mass starvation. Disturbingly, this dire claim comes after reports of Karen Hovhannisyan, 40, succumbing to starvation on August 15, 2023, as a direct consequence of the prolonged blockade.

The institute, named after Raphael Lemkin, a key figure in recognizing and defining the concept of genocide, underscores the harrowing implications of the blockade on the residents of Artsakh. This blockade, which commenced on December 12, 2022, has triggered a cascading series of distressing events, including malnutrition, miscarriages, and heightened medical complications due to the severe shortage of food and medical care.

Lethal consequences have now manifested, as the blockade has led to the direct deaths of Armenian citizens in Artsakh due to starvation. This development amplifies concerns regarding the intentional nature of the blockade, which allegedly seeks to eliminate the Armenian population through means of displacement or starvation.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's statements further contribute to these concerns. Aliyev's words have been unequivocal, including his remark on May 29, 2023, in which he menacingly asserted, "There will be no third invitation. Either they themselves will come to us humbly, or events will develop in a different direction. We have every opportunity to carry out any operation in that region."

The Lemkin Institute places responsibility not only on Aliyev but also on international leaders who have facilitated the situation through either direct support or diplomatic inaction. Leaders such as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and others, are implicated in the unfolding tragedy, as their actions have granted Aliyev a degree of impunity.

The Lemkin Institute emphasizes that those enabling Azerbaijan's blockade, be it through direct foreign assistance or indirect reluctance to use diplomatic avenues, might be complicit in the unfolding humanitarian crisis. The institute issues a strong reminder that accountability could extend to a court of law.

In a clear call to action, the institute urges the international community to address Azerbaijan's actions swiftly to prevent further loss of life and distress in the Republic of Artsakh. The urgency of the situation cannot be overstated, as lives continue to hang in the balance.


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