Thursday, 06 May 2021

W Weekly Update

6-13 February

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Weekly update

 

13 February

“Biden should sanction perpetrators of war crimes against Armenians,” notes David Phillips, Director of the Program on Human Rights and Peacebuilding at Columbia University who heads the Artsakh Atrocities Project. According to ahvalnews.com Turkey deployed up to 2,000 Islamist jihadis from Syria and Libya who were promised a bounty for killing Armenians. The identity of jihadis leaders is known. David Phillips goes on to say, “We do not know, however, if the Biden administration will turn a blind eye to atrocities in Artsakh or hold perpetrators accountable. Unlike the previous administration, U.S. government officials are now taking a harder line towards Turkey and its nefarious regional activities. It should reaffirm its commitment to the OSCE Minsk Group, which includes the United States, Russia and France as official mediators. Nagorno-Karabakh is still a powder keg, that is only stabilised by the presence of Russian peacekeepers. The United States should sanction perpetrators, imposing a travel ban on them and their families, while freezing their overseas assets. It should also provide case files to the INTERPOL and request red bulletins mandating their arrest. Holding war criminals accountable is the best way to prevent further crimes against humanity by Azeri and Turkish personnel, as well as their jihadi proxies.”

 

12 February

Child poverty in Armenia has created physical, psychological, spiritual, emotional and intellectual damage for developing adolescents. According to borgenmagazine.com in October 2020, a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan erupted. This heightened the detrimental impacts of child poverty, amongst other issues. In response, Kim Kardashian West donated $1 million towards the Armenia Fund with the intention of providing relief to Armenian citizens. This notable contribution funded reparations and aid, part of which went towards impoverished children. Poverty is a multidimensional, overarching topic that covers so much more than being poor. Child poverty specifically embodies hunger, poor education, struggle and lack of housing. Specifically, in Armenia, child poverty is a major issue. Of the four categories listed above, UNICEF has reported that 64% of children lack two or more of these necessities in Armenia. Kardashian West made headlines with her hefty donation. She received recognition from Variety Magazine, Los Angeles Times, news channels and other reputable sources. Thus, Kardashian West successfully called attention to the Armenian crisis to a range of audiences.

 

11 February

Artsakh Presidential Chief of Staff Artak Beglaryan told Hetq that the Artsakh will certainly have some sort of defense force, regardless of what it is formally called. Beglaryan said the local force will ensure the security of the Artsakh people in parallel with the Russian peacekeepers stationed in the country. "Naturally, Azerbaijan would very much like to see no armed people in Artsakh. I think it would very much like to see no Russian peacekeepers. Azerbaijan's wishes in this respect do not matter," said Beglaryan. He admitted that the identification of war dead has taken longer than desired and that the main problem remains DNA identification of the bodies. Hundreds of bodies have not been identified yet. Beglaryan said that rumors are circulating in Artsakh that Azerbaijani troops have already buried some of the Armenians killed in the recent war.

 

10 February

In her interview to caucasuswatch.de, headlined “New Realities in the South Caucasus”, Dr. Nadja Douglas, a researcher at the Centre for East European and International Studies in Berlin focuses on security issues and state-society relations in the post-Soviet space. According to Dr. Douglas, Prime Minister Pashinyan no longer has a large majority of the population behind him. He has disqualified himself politically and morally by the tragic defeat in the 44-day war against Azerbaijan. The country's elites, including the president, the parliamentary opposition, all three former heads of state, the heads of the Armenian Church and numerous governors and intellectuals, have spoken out against him and the continuance of his government. He must clear the way for change, whether in the form of a transitional government, as requested by the opposition, or snap elections, as advocated by the ruling My-Step coalition, remains to be seen. Nevertheless, as Pashinyan himself has repeatedly emphasized, he is still responsible for ensuring that the country does not fall into chaos. Yet, a credible political alternative has not yet appeared. Even the extra-parliamentary opposition alliance that nominated former Prime Minister Vasgen Manukyan as a candidate for the parliamentary elections, does not manage to get broad sections of the population to protest, unlike Pashinyan in 2018.

 

9 February

Armenian-made loitering munitions are undergoing state testing and will then pass a combat test, followed by serial production, Minister of High Tech Industry Hakob Arshakyan said at a news conference, reported armenpress-am.cdn.ampproject.org. Arshakyan reminded that the government has recognized the defense industry as a priority. Speaking about artillery equipment and the capacity of manufacturing ammunitions, he said: “The possibilities that were created, will be able to fully meet our domestic military demand in Armenia already this year. I am referring to artillery measures, mortars, grenade launchers and other directions. Rather serious investments were made in Armenia. And in this regard we already have an industrial process and the opportunity for expanding it in 2021.” Arshakyan said there were dozens of funded projects for the development of combat and recon UAVs as part of scientific-research programs. “A part of them are now reaching their logical completion. We are already achieving industrial capabilities in terms of both strike and reconnaissance drones. Reconnaissance UAVs that are not lagging behind parameter-wise from similar drones can already be manufactured in Armenia,” he said, adding that these Armenian-made drones have been widely used by the Armenian military in the Artsakh war.

 

8 February

One of the two opposition parties represented in Armenia’s parliament denounced the authorities for seemingly abandoning plans to hold fresh parliamentary elections and said they will only radicalize their political foes and other critics. In line with azatutyun.am Edmon Marukian, the leader of the Bright Armenia Party (LHK), warned of more public calls for a violent overthrow of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and his government. The LHK is not part of an alliance of 17 more radical opposition parties that launched anti-government protests immediately after the Russian-brokered ceasefire that stopped the war in Nagorno-Karabakh on November 10. But it too demanded Pashinian’s resignation over his handling of the war. Pashinian rejected the opposition demands but expressed readiness in late December to hold snap elections in the coming months. Opposition forces have since continued to insist that they must be held by a new and interim government. In a weekend statement, Pashinian and his My Step bloc said they see no need for snap polls because of the opposition’s stance and what described as a lack of popular “demand” for the parliament’s dissolution.

 

7 February

The presence of Azerbaijani armed forces (flags and signs) on the roads connecting the communities of the Syunik region of the Republic of Armenia contradicts the foundations of the international human rights system, violates the rule of law and, consequently, lacks any legal basis, Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan says. According to armradio.am the Ombudsman lists the reasons why the Azerbaijani servicemen were deployed in those places: Ethnic cleansing and genocidal policies against Armenians were carried out in Artsakh by terrorist methods; Civilians and soldiers have been tortured and inhumanly treated (beheadings, desecration of corpses, etc.); Jihadists and ISIS terrorists were used against Artsakh. They committed war crimes and atrocities against Armenians; the civilian settlements of Artsakh were subjected to deliberate mass destruction, including with banned cluster weapons. The Ombudsman says, the determination of borders with the described approaches will not promote the peaceful coexistence of peoples in the region, on the contrary, it will create fertile ground for incessant hatred and enmity towards Armenians in Azerbaijan, continuous gross human rights violations and other dangerous manifestations.

 

6 February

Polish politician and lawyer Tomasz Lech Buczek has sent a letter and his recent publication on Azerbaijani war crimes against Armenians to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has also asked to take steps to ensure the release of Armenian prisoners of war, reported armradio.am. The letter reads: “For the Armenian people now, in particular, it is now important to release prisoners of war, so I am asking for work to help release them. In particular, I am asking for the release of a boy who in that word turned 19, his name is Eric Khachaturyan, he is a young Armenian patriot who was captured and humiliated in videos released by Azerbaijani soldiers. He became a symbol of Armenian prisoners of war held in Azerbaijan. His photo is on the last page of my publication on “Azerbaijan War Crimes against Armenians – Karabakh 2020,” which I am attaching to this important letter.” Buczek earlier sent the copies of the publication to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and US President Joe Biden.He received thousands of threats from Azerbaijan after announcing plans to publish a brochure on war crimes against Armenians.

 

Sources: ahvalnews.com; borgenmagazine.com; hetq.amcaucasuswatch.de; armenpress-am.cdn.ampproject.org; azatutyun.amarmradio.am

27 April 2021
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29 March 2021
22 March 2021
13 March 2021

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