YEREVAN — A new example of Azerbaijani aggression against Armenians took place on February 26 at the village of Khramort in Artsakh. This village of Khramort has become a border post after the 2020 Artsakh war, with Azerbaijani positions located right next to it. Azerbaijanis had on a number of occasions fired at the civilians in Khramort, as previously reported in the Mirror-Spectator.
This time, they approached the village, threatening the villagers carrying out farm work by demanding in the Armenian language that they leave the village or submit to them since it is “Azerbaijani territory and the laws are regulated by Baku.” Here is the text of their statement.
“You are on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Any action carried out here is regulated by the laws of Azerbaijan. Everything you do without official permission is illegal. The agricultural work you are currently carrying out is illegal. Do not prepare for war and do not try to create a border in our territory. If you want to stay and live here, obey the laws of Azerbaijan. For your safety, we demand you stop working and leave the area immediately. Otherwise force will be used against you. The responsibility for the losses will fall on you. Do not endanger your and your family members’ lives. Leave the area, leave the area.”
What has happened is blatant terrorism, a gross violation of human rights. International organizations must not only make a clear assessment of this, but also take measures to prevent terrorism.
“The recent provocation by Azerbaijan against the population of the village of Khramort is a classic example of psychological warfare, which was obviously prepared in Baku,” said military expert Vladimir Harutyunyan to Artsakhpress, referring to the statements made by Azerbaijanis in literary Armenian over a loudspeaker that the village is Azerbaijani territory and that the locals should leave it.
Artsakh Human Rights Defender Gegham Stepanyan also referred to the incident, stating that a stunned atmosphere prevails in the village. He said: “It is already the third day that the Azerbaijani side, positioned near the community and located on a hill 500 meters from its habitable part, by means of loudspeakers and with the threat of the use of force issues ‘calls’ to the peaceful inhabitants of the village to abandon the village. This is with the clear intent to intimidating the residents of the Khramort community of Askeran region, create an atmosphere of fear in the village and empty the village of Armenians. The collected evidence proves that the ongoing Azerbaijani actions to intimidate the population of the village are carried out under the specially planned direct coordination of the Azerbaijani leadership. These are actions directed against the psychological inviolability of the people of Artsakh, as evidenced by the fact that the so-called ‘calls and appeals’ are videotaped and spread on social networks during the 44-day war and after which via Azerbaijani propaganda channels.