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Sounding the Alarm: Former Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan Exposes Azerbaijani Crimes in Armenia's Syunik Border Village

Tatoyan Foundation, 25 Azerbaijani occupation military bases in Nerkin Hand

URGENT: Arman Tatoyan, former Human Rights Defender, has presented a disturbing report today regarding the situation in Armenia's border villages, particularly in Syunik Province. On his Facebook page, Tatoyan shared detailed information about Azerbaijani crimes in Nerkin Hand, shedding light on the dire circumstances faced by the local population.

Here are some key points highlighted by Tatoyan:

1. Isolation and Intrusion: Nerkin Hand is surrounded on three sides by 25 unlawful armed military positions of Azerbaijan, with 15 of these positions located inside the village, within the sovereign territory of Armenia.

2. Fatal Attacks: Azerbaijani armed positions, situated within the territory of Armenia, led to the death of four Armenian servicemen and the injury of one on February 13, 2024.

3. Proximity to Danger: The largest distance from Azerbaijani unlawful armed positions to Nerkin Hand's territory is approximately 2,060 meters, extending into both the border and the country's deep territory.

4. Threat to Education and Children: The nearest Azerbaijani unlawful armed position to the Nerkin Hand school is just 769 meters away.

5. Occupation Impact: Azerbaijani forces control sources of drinking water in Nerkin Hand, including St. Hripsime church and the cemetery, forcing residents to rely on drinking water from the river.

6. Agricultural Losses: Gardens, pastures, grasslands, and arable lands in Nerkin Hand are under Azerbaijani occupation, resulting in the disappearance of cattle breeding.

7. Extensive Occupation: A shocking 2,700 hectares (6,672 acres) are under Azerbaijani occupation in Nerkin Hand, comprising 2,400 hectares (5,931 acres) of protected lands, 170 hectares (420 acres) of forest lands, and 130 hectares (321 acres) of communal lands. In addition to 2,700 hectares, more than 1,000 hectares (2471 acres) of land is in the danger zone, where it is either impossible to carry out any agricultural or other work, or these works have become significantly more difficult due to real dangers to life.

8. Environmental Destruction: Azerbaijani military servicemen in Nerkin Hand are reportedly causing environmental damage, including the destruction of flora and fauna and the construction of unlawful roads.

9. Ongoing Threats: The sound of shootings and mine explosions are heard from Azerbaijani armed positions isolating Nerkin Hand, posing an ongoing danger to the local population.

In a related development, Russian-Armenian news media company Sputnik Armenia submitted a question to the Prime Minister's office, seeking information on Armenian villages under Azerbaijani control. The Prime Minister's office confirmed that vital areas of 31 non-enclave villages, covering 170 square kilometers, are currently under Azerbaijani occupation. These communities include Jermuk, Parur Sevak, Kakhak, Kutakan, Sotk, Kut, Norabak, Nerkin Shorzha, Verin Shorzha, Akunk, Berkaber, Sarighugh, Sevkar, Vazashe, Paravakar, Movses, Artsvaberd, Aygedzor, Chinar, Kajarantz, Salvard, Gorayk, Sarnakunk, Angeghakot, Aghitu, Noravan, Vaghatin, Verishen, Khoznavar, Tegh, and Verin Hand.

These reports shows the urgent need for attention and intervention to address the pressing human rights and territorial integrity concerns faced by the affected Armenian communities.


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