MONTROSE, Calif — The Center for Truth and Justice (CFTJ), a group of attorneys dedicated to collecting testimonial evidence of war crimes, has called on world powers to intervene in Nagorno-Karabakh after a report this week by renowned international legal expert Luis Moreno Ocampo found Azerbaijan’s blockade of the enclave constituted a genocide against the 120,000 ethnic Armenians living there.
“This hidden genocide, starvation by blockade, has been exposed,” the California-based group said. “It is now the responsibility of state parties, especially the US, to take measures to stop Genocide 2023.”
Maggie Arutyunyan, Esq. a founding member and member of the Board of Directors of CFTJ said the horror of genocide in Nagorno-Karabakh is the failure of the state parties to the Genocide Convention that keep repeating the words “never again” to mass atrocities but have not stepped up to prevent the latest case.
“When put on notice by Mr. Ocampo’s thorough report, those who continue to turn a blind eye become complicit in Genocide 2023,” she said, adding that ending the blockade will have the immediate effect of preventing what Ocampo called the “physical destruction” of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. “At this point, it takes political will by the US and state parties to stop Genocide 2023, and stop starvation by blockade.”
Azerbaijan seized control of much of Nagorno-Karabakh, which lies inside Azerbaijan’s official borders but which has operated as a self-governing entity for decades, in a deadly 2020 war. What remains of the enclave – known by Armenians as Artsakh – is connected to the outside world by the Lachin Corridor. On December 12, 2022, Azerbaijan blocked the road, allowing only intermittent passage by the Red Cross and Russian peacekeepers – and since June 15 all passage has been entirely blocked, cutting off food and other supplies.
“Without immediate dramatic change, this group of Armenians will be destroyed in a few weeks,” Ocampo wrote in the 22-page pro bono report entitled “Genocide against Armenians in 2023.”