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Lemkin Institute Raises Alarm Over Arrest of Ruben Vardanyan by Azerbaijan

Lemkin Institute Raises Alarm Over Arrest of Ruben Vardanyan by Azerbaijan

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention has expressed grave concern regarding the recent arrest and detention of former Artsakh State Minister Ruben Vardanyan by Azerbaijan's State Border Service. The Lemkin Institute, known for its dedication to the prevention of genocide, issued a statement via social media outlining the serious risks faced by Vardanyan while in custody.

In a statement shared on X—former Twitter, the Lemkin Institute emphasized the high level of concern surrounding Vardanyan's detention, citing the outspoken advocate's staunch support for Artsakh's right to self-determination. Vardanyan's unwavering commitment to this cause has made him a contentious figure in the eyes of Azerbaijan, which has led to fears of potential torture, extrajudicial execution, or a show trial.

Azerbaijan has labeled Vardanyan, along with other current and former members of the Artsakh government and self-defense army, as "separatists" and "terrorists." Such categorizations have historically been used by states to justify illegal detentions and even acts of violence.

The global community's concern for Vardanyan's life and safety is heightened by the distressing treatment endured by Armenian Prisoners of War (POWs) in Azerbaijani captivity since 2020. Reports have detailed cases of torture, humiliation, murder, disappearances, and staged trials. These atrocities have been widely documented and have raised significant international alarm.

The Lemkin Institute calls upon Russia and the United States, along with other world leaders, to demand Vardanyan's safe passage out of Azerbaijan. Additionally, the institute urges the international community to ensure that other members of the Artsakh government, as well as members of the Artsakh Defense Army, are granted the opportunity to leave Azerbaijan safely.

In its statement, the Lemkin Institute also highlights the disturbing trend of detaining, killing, and disappearing elites, which has been employed as a tactic in acts of genocide throughout history.

The arrest of Ruben Vardanyan has ignited widespread concern, as advocates and organizations worldwide rally to protect his rights and safety. As tensions continue to simmer in the region, the fate of Vardanyan remains a critical issue with implications far beyond the individual, touching upon the broader context of human rights and conflict resolution in the region.


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