Violence is the unequal distribution of power, authority, and control that results in horrific crimes. The antithesis of violence and barbarism is the right of every person to live in safety in his own land, as enshrined in many conventions. Those conventions were supposed to be tools for balancing power and overcoming violence in the civilized world, but they didn't work.

Today, when Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), a part of the Armenian world, as a civilization is erased from the diverse cultural palette, all those conventions become just empty documents that cannot prevent violence by rule of law.

An oppressed people, left completely alone following the 2020 war, who resisted a months-long siege, are leaving their centuries-old homeland hungry and oppressed. After the 44-day war, the sword hanging over the heads of Artsakh Armenians swung. All this took place despite many conventions and in front of the unblinking eyes of the international community and world leaders.

Early 20th century history repeated itself–something that should not have happened in the 21st century.

Today, when our compatriots are in a difficult situation, we are calling out to all international organizations, leaders, and geopolitical decision-makers to confront the flagrant violations of human rights, to confront the death and suffering of women, children and the elderly and the capture of men. Even now, people are being forced to say that they are leaving voluntarily, that no one is forcing them to leave.

Speaking about the genocide committed 100 years ago, Hrant Dink said that even if Armenians were deported with a golden airplane, it would still be genocide, because they were cut off from their roots.

Right now, Armenians are being cut off from their roots. This was very effectively articulated by the Lemkin Institute in their statement which read, “There’s no ‘genocide prevention’ in the US, the EU, NATO, or the UN, despite all the trainings, symposia, books, and speeches.”

The victory of violence against civilization was once again emphasized today in Artsakh, in front of the eyes of the civilized world, which should not have remained silent.

Therefore, we demand that international organizations, the human rights community, and policy leaders turn their attention to the flagrant violations of human rights. We demand that they take active and immediate steps to document and address the issues facing displaced residents and prevent further disasters, putting an end to the continuous cycle of violence.

September 27, 2023 at 11:59

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