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People forced to leave Armenian border villages after Azeri attacks in 2022: Tatoyan Foundation

The Tatoyan Foundation, led by Armenia’s former Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan, on Monday shared the findings of its fact-finding missions in Armenian border villages following the Azerbaijani attacks on Armenia in mid-September last year. The full text of its statement is below.

"As a result of the Azerbaijani armed attacks against Armenia on September 13-14, 2023 there is no more civilian life in the villages of Nerkin Shorzha and Verin Shorzha of Gegharkunik Province, the cattle barns have come under Azerbaijani control or observation, and the villages have been emptied. There are serious problems with access to water or there is no water at all.

These facts were verified by the Center for Law and Justice Tatoyan Foundation during fact-finding missions in the border communities of the province on November 25 and December 29 (2022).

In particular, Azerbaijani forces invaded the area of the Verin Shorzha cattle barns from May 12, 2021. All lands legally owned by the Armenian citizens fell under their control; from these places they have been firing towards the village, terrorizing the residents engaged in agriculture works, burning pastures; they illegally took over reservoirs and natural springs, depriving people of water, etc.

On September 13-14, 2022, as a result of Azerbaijani invasion of the sovereign territory of Armenia, serious security problems also arose for Sotk, Airk, Jaghatsadzor, Kutakan, Pokr Masrik and other villages.

Water basins and natural water sources for Geghamabak, Jaghatzadzor, Airk, Verin Shorzha, Nerkin Shorzha and other villages came under Azerbaijani control or observation in 2021 May and deepened after the September war in 2021. There are serious problems with access to water in the villages or there is no water at all.

The photos show Azerbaijani positions that were detected by the Foundation during the fact-finding mission.

Due to a sharp decrease in the amount of water, the Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) operating on the Upper Shorzha-Ayrk road is no longer in operation.

Such special fact-finding mission was also carried out in Syunik Province in October 2022 together with international lawyers Karnig and Garo Ghazarian.

A report in English is currently being prepared on these issues with a special methodology."


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