Conditions are present for genocide against the indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).
On December 12, the government of Azerbaijan imposed a blockade on Nagorno Karabakh and its 120,000 Armenian residents, preventing food, medicine, gas, and other vital goods from transiting through the Lachin Corridor, the only land route into the region.
The government of Azerbaijan has long promoted official hatred of Armenians, has fostered impunity for atrocities committed against Armenians and has issued repeated threats to conquer not only Nagorno Karabakh but also Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, by force.
The present blockade is designed to, in the words of the Genocide Convention, “deliberately inflict conditions of life calculated to bring about the end of a national, ethnical, racial or religious group in whole or in part.”
All 14 risk factors for atrocity crimes identified by the UN Secretary-General’s Office on Genocide Prevention are now present.
The current Azerbaijani aggression against the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh conforms to a long pattern of ethnic and religious cleansing of Armenian and other Christian communities in the region by the government of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Turkey, the Ottoman Empire, and their partisans.
We call on all contracting parties to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, particularly the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation, to fulfill their obligations, through the UN Security Council, to prevent another chapter of the Armenian Genocide.
We also call on the UN Security Council to act to ensure unrestricted humanitarian access for all international organizations to Nagorno Karabakh, in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Baroness Cox, Independent Member of the House of Lords
Prof Armen T. Marsoobian (First Vice President, International Association of Genocide Scholars)
Lela Gilbert, Fellow: Hudson Center for International Religious Freedom