Report on Violations of the Rights of Artsakh People by Azerbaijan in February-March 2022

On November 9, 2020, the President of the Russian Federation, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan signed a trilateral statement on the cessation of war in Nagorno Karabakh, which ended large-scale hostilities and deployed Russian peacekeeping forces. For almost a year and a half after the establishment of the ceasefire, the Azerbaijani side, through various means, has violated the rights of the people of Artsakh, including the right to life, health, physical and psychological integrity. These actions became more aggressive in February-March 2022, the details are presented in Section 1 of this report.

On March 8, 2022, at 01:00, the operation of the only gas pipeline coming from the Republic of Armenia to Artsakh was completely destroyed, as a result of which the entire population of Artsakh was deprived of gas supply. The facts obtained from various sources prove that the gas pipeline was deliberately blown up by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. The fact that the Azerbaijani side has blocked specialists of the local gas supply company from accessing the damaged part of the pipeline for more than a week to carry out emergency repair works speaks of the direct intention of Azerbaijan to disrupt the gas supply and consequently create a difficult humanitarian situation in Artsakh. The general description of the humanitarian problems caused by the disruption of gas supply is presented in Section 2 of this report.

In parallel with the criminal actions against different communities, the deliberate disruption of the gas supply, the Azerbaijani side is carrying out psychological pressure and propaganda campaigns against the people of Artsakh, pursuing the aim of forcing the civilian population to leave their homes. The facts of such cases and their analysis are presented in Section 3 of this report.

The report was prepared on the basis of studies conducted by the Human Rights Defender’s Office, on the visits to various communities, educational and health institutions, to citizens’ houses, on private conversations with citizens, and information received from state authorized bodies.

The aim is to document the cases of violation of the rights of the people of Artsakh by Azerbaijan and their various manifestations and to draw the attention of international institutions and human rights organizations to the situation in Artsakh.