Dunja Mijatović

YEREVAN (Armenpress) — Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović has again called for restoration of free movement along Lachin Corridor and confirmed readiness to travel to Nagorno-Karabakh to assist in overcoming the existing human rights challenges.

In a statement released on August 28, Mijatović expressed serious concern about the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).

“I remain seriously concerned about the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the human rights of its population following the blocking of the road running through the Lachin Corridor since December 2022. I reiterate the call I made at that time to restore free movement along that road.

“Despite my calls and those of numerous other international stakeholders, the humanitarian and human rights situation in the area has reportedly further deteriorated, affecting particularly the most vulnerable, due to the prolonged disruption in the movement of people and access to food supplies and urgent medical care. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which is for the moment the only international humanitarian organization operating across the Lachin Corridor, indicated that the population was facing a lack of life-saving medication and essentials.

“The relevant stakeholders should immediately find a solution to avoid any further deterioration of the very dangerous situation the local population is facing and guarantee safe and free passage to those providing humanitarian assistance and those ensuring human rights protection. As indicated in my 2021 Memorandum, efforts should be made by Armenia and Azerbaijan to move forward on the path towards reconciliation and ensure lasting peace for all people.

“I confirm my commitment and readiness to engage with all the relevant interlocutors and to travel to Nagorno Karabakh to assist in overcoming the existing human rights challenges,” Mijatović said in the statement.

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Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia and the rest of the world, has been blocked by Azerbaijan since late 2022. Azerbaijan then illegally installed a checkpoint on Lachin Corridor. The blockade has led to shortages of essential products such as food and medication. Azerbaijan has also cut off gas and power supply into Nagorno Karabakh, with officials warning that Baku seeks to commit ethnic cleansing against Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. Hospitals have suspended normal operations.

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