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Jun 21

Appeal to the UN on world refugee day, 20.06.2020

For more than 30 years, the international community, UN, OSCE do not pay due attention to the Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan. After many crimes of genocide since 1918 from Azerbaijan, which caused waves of refugees, many decades passed. In March 2019, the UN applied to the Turkish authorities, demanding a response about Armenian refugees 100 years ago. This is too late and episodic attention. The issue is complex, associated with gross violations of international norms and fundamental rights of many indigenous peoples of the region and requires a radically different attitude.

“Khachmeruk” (“Crossroad”) public organization of sociological and political science initiatives together with the partners has taken the initiative to create an International Refugee Coordination Council (ICCR). The ICCR Organizing Committee includes 13 public organizations and 23 public figures and experts from seven countries. On June 20, 2020, on World Refugee Day, the ICCR Organizing Committee sent its Appeal to 4 UN addresses as a proposal to start a dialogue.

To:

Mr. Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General,

Mr. Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees,

Mr. Adam Dieng, UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide,

Ms. Karen Smith, UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect,

 

Appeal to the UN on World Refugee day, June 20

All the peace-loving peoples of our planet in the current period of the most dangerous challenges of human civilization hope for a better future for the Nansen International Refugee Organization, created 90 years ago under the auspices of the United Nations in the continuation of the activities of the 20th century humanist Fridtjof Nansen. Thanks to his titanic efforts, the fate of the Greeks, Russians, Jews, and other indigenous peoples was eased. The organizations led by him made an invaluable contribution to facilitating the fate of the Armenian refugees, representatives of the people who suffered Genocide both in the Ottoman Empire and in republican Turkey.

Unfortunately, genocide as an ideology and a way to resolve national issues has not been eliminated from international practice. There are more and more refugees from conflict zones. Their number amounts to tens of millions, so the invaluable work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is worthy of all praise. Nevertheless, we draw your attention to an incomprehensible for the mind fact. Neither the UN, nor, in particular, the UNHCR noticed the Armenian Genocide in Azerbaijan, although the world press in 1988-1991 addressed this topic almost every day. The Genocide of the Armenian people of Eastern Transcaucasia was not perpetrated in a single act, but was launched by the armed groups of the Transcaucasian Turks and the Turkish regular troops invading the region in 1918, who established a satellite-like state formation in the East Transcaucasia called the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR). In Baku alone, during the massacre in September 1918, more than 30,000 civilians of Armenian origin were killed.

ADR was not de jure recognized by the League of Nations. The XI Red Army of Soviet-Bolshevik Russia in 1920 abolished the ADR established by the Turkish army and proclaimed the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (AzSSR). In an international (non-national) republic formed without the titular nation, all indigenous peoples living in it were considered co-founders of this new type of non-national (international) Soviet republic. The second largest indigenous people of the Azerbaijan SSR was the Armenian people of the East Transcaucasia, for which was recognized the right to possess national autonomy as a form of Soviet statehood. It was the Autonomous Region (Oblast) of Nagorno-Karabakh, which became the subject of the national-state system of the USSR and was represented in the highest constituent power of the USSR as a union state.

But history has shown that a change in the socio-economic and political system has not changed the genocidal behavior of the local Turks who came to power in the Azerbaijan SSR, whom they renamed to “Azerbaijanis” in the 1930s. The Stalinist project of Azerbaijanization of the republic became the official program for the forced assimilation of the indigenous peoples professing Islam (Lezghins, Talysh, Kurds) of the republic, which continues to this day. As for the Armenians, all of the Soviet years, they were either soft or hard pressed out of the republic. Since 1988, discrimination against Armenians escalated into bloody acts of mass pogroms. The Genocide of the founding people of this Soviet republic was committed. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians turned out to be refugees who did not receive any support or compensation from the international community.

They went unnoticed also by the UN. In 1991, only the collapse of the USSR prevented the Baku leadership from completing dearmenization of Nagorno-Karabakh. Baku forces, deprived of support from the central authorities of the USSR, suffered one defeat after another in their punitive operations in Nagorno-Karabakh. The NKR (Republic of Artsakh) self-defense forces managed to free part of the territories that were supposed to be part of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region, but were forcibly torn away from it in the 1920s. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, proclaimed in 1991, in relation to which Baku is still pursuing a policy of blockade, racism, war crimes, has done everything in its power to ease the tragic situation of refugees seeking refuge in the NKR. However, hundreds of thousands of Armenian refugees and their descendants scattered around the world are waiting for the international community to at least condemn the Republic of Azerbaijan, which has not ceased to be a genocidal state, cynically flouting the fundamental and established by international law rights of peoples to life, development and progress.

If great humanist Fridtjof Nansen would have been alive today, he would certainly have condemned the Armenian Genocide by Azerbaijan as a continuation of started in the late 19th century crimes of genocide by the Ottoman Empire and Turkey. Dear Sirs and Madam, we urge you on World Refugee Day to condemn these crimes against humanity.

We attach to our Address a link to the Open Letter of 133 scholars and public figures to the world community on July 27, 1990 – https://aga-tribunal.info/en/open_27-7-1990_en/

June 20, 2020

Organizing Committee of the International Coordinating Council for Refugees

with the following founding members:

«Khachmeruk» (Crossroad) public organization of sociological and political science initiatives (Armenia)

Forum of refugees from Azerbaijan SSR (Armenia)

Assembly of Azerbaijanian Armenians (Armenia)

Union of refugees of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Republic of Artsakh)

NGO «Academy of Political Studies» (Armenia)

NGO «Scientific Center «Kachar» (Republic of Artsakh)

Armenian Center of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (Russia)

Regional public organization «Center for support of Russian-Armenian strategic and public initiatives» (Russia)

Canada Global Humanitarian Actions (Canada)

Russian-Armenian Association of lawyers «ARMROSS» (Russia)

Youth Center for Social Research (Republic of Artsakh)

Armenian cultural and educational society «Ararat» (Russia)

Russian-Armenian non-governmental Center for legal assistance (Armenia)

Alexandr Manasyan, Professor, Doctor of Philosophy (Yerevan)

Levon Adyan, Member of the Unions of Writers of the USSR, Russia, Armenia, Artsakh and the Union of Armenian Writers of America (Saint Petersburg)

Martik Gasparyan, member of the Scientific Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences, vice-president of the International Academy of Spiritual Unity of the World’s Peoples (MADENM) (Moscow)

Arthur Petrosyan, Professor, Armenian Chair, Harvard University (1995-97) (Paris)

Mariam Avagyan, public figure (Yerevan)

Aram Khachatryan, Secretary of the Coordinating Council of Russian-Armenian Organizations (Moscow)

Dr. Garen Arevian, activist/lobbyist, blogger, active community member (London)

Levon Batiev, Ph.D. in Law, head of the Laboratory at the Southern Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Rostov-on-Don)

Ruben Kirakosyan, advocate (Moscow)

Grigory Ayvazyan, public figure (Yerevan)

Nelly Avakova, poet, member of the Armenian writers Association of the USA (Los Angeles)

Andranik Pogosian, Orientalist, Middle Eastern Studies (Vancouver, Canada)

Tatyana Minasyan, public figure (Yerevan)

Albina Sukiasyan, public figure (Moscow)

Oleg Gabrielyan, Professor, Doctor of Philosophy (Simferopol)

Saro Saryan, director of the State Museum of Geology named after professor G.A. Gabrielyants (Shushi)

Bella Oganyan, public figure (Moscow)

Elena Khatchatryan, publicist, Ph.D. (Yerevan)

Georg Gabrielyan, political analyst (Saint Petersburg)

Ashot Shakhsuvaryan, advocate (Yerevan)

Hovik Avanesov, researcher at Caucasus Studies Center of the University after Mesrop Mashtots (Stepanakert)

Nonna Tovmasyan, refugee, representative of the Union of refugees of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in the Askeran District (Askeran, Artsakh)

Vahan Babakhanyan, Standing Committee of the Parliament of Western Armenia on the recognition, condemnation of the Armenian Genocide and compensation for damage (Saint Petersburg).

 

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