Since the installation of the illegal checkpoint on the Goris-Stepanakert highway near the Hakari Bridge on April 23, Azerbaijan has been artificially obstructing the normal operation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Nagorno-Karabakh, by which the Azerbaijani side not only violates the provisions of the international humanitarian law, but also the agreement reached during the blockade on the transfer to Armenia of the persons in extremely serious health condition. Thus, Azerbaijan directly ignores the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) of December 21, 2022, obliging it to take all necessary and sufficient measures to ensure the movement of seriously ill persons in need of medical treatment in Armenia through the “Lachin corridor”.
During this time, the ICRC transported patients only twice: on April 28 (13 patients) and on April 29 (16 patients). Since April 29, with the mediation of the ICRC, the transfer of patients to medical institutions of the Republic of Armenia has completely stopped. According to the information received by the Human Rights Defender's Office, the Azerbaijani side has put forward additional conditions, demanding to check the ICRC cars transporting patients, as well as the passports of the ICRC employees and patients, thus, violating the agreements reached earlier. According to the information received from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Artsakh, 30 patients in extremely serious condition are waiting for urgent transfer.
Azerbaijan deliberately prevents the supply of essential medicines to Artsakh through the ICRC, as a result of which serious problems arise in medical institutions of Artsakh.
The Azerbaijani side, pursuing the goal of total isolation of Artsakh, is undertaking deliberate actions, aimed at hindering the activities of even humanitarian organisations in Artsakh, putting forward additional artificial demands.
Azerbaijan is not ready to take a constructive position even on the matters of humanitarian nature, does not miss the opportunity to intimidate the peaceful population and deepen their physical and psychological suffering caused by the blockade, deliberately deepening the humanitarian crisis.
Azerbaijan's behavior directly contradicts the international law and the principles of humanism, which should be clearly condemned by international organisations and the human rights community.
We expect practical intervention by international structures in the settlement of this urgent humanitarian issue.
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