Armenian Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan issued a statement on the situation in Syunik, which reads:
The humanitarian situation of the residents of the adjacent settlements continues to worsen after the establishment of the so-called Azerbaijani border and customs control on the Goris-Kapan-Kapan-Front front roads from November 11 to November 15 without legal grounds. Below are the results of the fact-finding work of the RA Human Rights Defender’s Office on November 8-18, related to the human rights situation in the villages of Chakaten, Shikahogh, Srashen, Nerkin Hand, Tsav, Shishkert due to the closure of the Kapan-Chakaten road.
First, an uncertain and unpredictable situation has been created for people in all 6 settlements, the realization of rights has not only become more difficult, but in different cases it has become impossible. Since the day (November 15), when the so-called Azerbaijani checkpoints were set up on the Kapan-Chakaten road, the already endangered right to free movement of people has been severely restricted.
On November 10-14, the Human Rights Defender’s Office reported on the spot that while crossing the Kapan-Front road, Azeri armed and mostly masked servicemen were approaching the sidewalk in the Azeri-controlled area, trying to intimidate people by openly displaying weapons. This is also the case when children and the elderly are walking on the road. Such a criminal event was recorded by the Defender’s staff, as it was recorded on the very day of the visit, in the early morning of November 10, when there were children in the car passing by the given section of the road.
In addition, there are already serious security issues in these areas. For example, there are houses in Chakaten, which are about 200-300 meters away from the Azerbaijani positions. In another case, for example, in Nerkin Hand, Azerbaijani armed forces are standing near the only water source in the village, which poses a serious water security problem. This was mentioned by the villagers themselves. Due to the current situation, the teaching process in schools is fully or partially carried out remotely.
For example, 4 of the children studying at the Front School, including those with special educational needs, as well as the pedagogical staff, come to the Front from the city of Kapan. Due to the traffic ban, as well as the impassability of the alternative road, the latter are not able to come to school, հի on the instructions of the regional administration, the lessons have been carried out և continue to be carried out remotely.
Teachers who come to Srashen from Kapan work in the Srashen building of Shikahogh (Srashen) Secondary School. Due to the traffic ban, the Nerkin Hand teacher could not get to school from Kapan. Therefore, the classes are held remotely in the mentioned settlements.
In the case of Nerkin Hand, the rights of children are already particularly violated, as the Azerbaijani armed forces are located a few hundred meters from the school. A number of residents have mentioned that in recent days there have been problems with the quality of the Internet connection. During this visit, the ombudsman’s staff had the opportunity to make sure of this issue. Moreover, the Azerbaijani positions are located at a direct distance from the location of Internet connection stations for the civilian population.
Serious difficulties have already arisen in the mentioned 6 settlements in accessing medical care and services, violating the absolute humanitarian right to health care guaranteed by the Constitution. Thus, the ambulance brigade from Meghri is on permanent duty in the front (one car in total, with one ambulance distributed to each settlement), but in case of urgent need for hospitalization, it turns out that people should be transferred from the front to Meghri medical center, where: According to the residents, it will be possible to reach by ambulance in 2-2.5 hours, after traveling about 70 km.
This is in the case when it was possible to organize the transfer of a person to Kapan Medical Institution in about 30 minutes before the illegal blocking of the Kapan-Chakaten road by the Azerbaijani armed forces. A similar situation has been created in the case of a number of other settlements, and in case the necessary medicine is not available, it is mainly brought from Meghri. In this case, the problem is exacerbated by the fact that there are elderly people with disabilities living in the settlements, whose health care especially requires urgent response, prompt delivery of medicine and, if necessary, prompt hospitalization.
For example, a resident of one of these areas (personal data not specifically mentioned) who has been diagnosed with asthma or is receiving medical treatment, but in case of exacerbation of the disease needs urgent hospitalization