Leading International Legal Expert Warns of Armenian Genocide in Artsakh

There is an ongoing Genocide against 120,000 Armenians living in NagornoKarabakh, also known as Artsakh.

Luis Moreno Ocampo, a prominent global authority on international law, has released a document titled “Armenian Genocide of 2023.” In this report, he raises a red flag about the imminent threat of a genocide by means of starvation that looms over the 120,000 ethnic Armenians who inhabit the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) region due to the actions of the Azerbaijani dictatorship. Ocampo is appealing to the United Nations Security Council to pass on the matter to the International Criminal Court, an institution he helmed as its first prosecutor from 2003 to 2012.

The report (which can be read here) has also been delivered to the President of Artsakh, Arayik Harutyunyan, to Armenia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Mher Margaryan, and to the Armenian Foreign Ministry in Yerevan.

“The blockade of the Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan impedes access to food, medical supplies, and other essentials,” the report stated. Since the blockade is clearly directed a particular ethnic group and risks starvation, it “should be considered a Genocide.”

“You will find no crematoria in Artsakh, nor machetes, but Genocide by starvation is no less devastating for being silent,” Ocampo stated. “It was the same deadly method used against Armenians in 1915, against Poles and Jews in 1939, and against the people of Srebrenica in 1993. And unless we intervene right now, we’ll have a Genocide on our hands by year’s end.”

Ocampo, who began his legendary career by helping to liberate his native Argentina from military dictatorship, based his findings in the report on Article II(c) of the Genocide Convention, which rules that “deprivation of food, medical care, shelter or clothing” constituted genocide. These conditions, the report ascertains, are currently being met in Artsakh. The report also references a recent ruling by the International Court of Justice that found “a real and imminent risk” to the “health and life” of the Armenians there.

The report calls for two urgent and immediate measures: Lifting the Azerbaijani blockade in order to reestablish the provision of essential supplies to the area, and offering negotiated solutions to the territorial dispute. It also says that “it would be necessary to open a criminal investigation immediately, adopting a UN Security Council Resolution referring to the International Criminal Court the situation of the Lachin Corridor and Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Prior to the release of the report, on July 31, Ocampo wrote to Azerbaijan’s authoritarian president, Ilham Aliyev, demanding explanations and cautioning that the report was imminent. He did not receive a reply.

The tensions in the area come in the wake of a 2020 war launched by Azeri dictator Aliyev, in which Azerbaijan invaded much of the area that had been under self-government, displacing tens of thousands and desecrating Armenian heritage sites in the captured areas.

As a grassroots organization, ACA is dedicated to working with all political leaders, offering Armenian related news, analysis and resources for policymakers, media, students and activists, advocating issues important to Armenian Americans. The ACA also aims to strengthen U.S. – Armenia and U.S. – Artsakh ties, the development of programs promoting sustainable economic growth and good governance in Armenia, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship.