Azerbaijani forces stationed near Syunik continue to harass, threaten and physically attack Armenian residents of nearby villages. The worsening situation in the area is due to the November 9 agreement, which ended military actions in Karabakh but saw the surrender of territories in Artsakh and Armenia to Azerbaijan, which now shares a border with Armenia.
Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan reported that last week Azerbaijan military officers attacked, dragged and beat an Armenian shepherd in the village of Aravus in the Syunik Province.
According to a fact-finding mission by the Human Rights Defender’s Syunik office, a shepherd who was watching his 14 large and small cattle on a pasture about 500 meters from his house on April 18, when, between 5 and 6 pm, he was approached by three Azerbaijani armed servicemen.
The shepherd told the Human Rights Defender’s office that the Azerbaijani military servicemen first threatened him with weapons, and then two of them pulled him and tried to take him to the trench in the direction of the Azerbaijani positions by force some 50 meters away. The Azerbaijanis constantly cursed and threatened the man.
As Armenian servicemen rushed for help, a third Azerbaijani serviceman hit the shepherd in the eye, bruising him and immediately fled to their positions.
During the Human Rights Defender’s Office fact-finding activities, it was also established that the Azerbaijani military had shouted insults at the shepherd in the same place of the Aravus village, and at around 7 pm he received threats from Azerbaijani soldiers who were openly displaying firearms on April 20.
The head of the Aravus village informed the Human Rights Defender’s Office that there are houses in the villages less than 500 meters away from the Azerbaijani positions (for example, 100 or 200 meters). This fact was also recorded by the Human Rights Defender’s Office monitoring conducted at the site.
Tatoyan specifically stated that the Azerbaijani servicemen committed a criminal attack on an Armenian border resident. “This confirms the gross violations of the internationally recognized rights of the citizens of the Republic of Armenia, as well as the rights enshrined in the Constitution of Armenia,” said Tatoyan.
Tatoyan reiterate the creation of a security zone in Syunik to protect the rights of the Armenian citizens in border area villages and cities. He also said There should be no Azerbaijani soldiers, signs or flags in the immediate vicinity of the Syunik villages and on the roads connecting the communities of the province.