We, a group of civil society organizations, condemn the aggression by the Azerbaijani regime towards civilian population in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) and Republic of Armenia and state our concern on continuous violations of children’s right to life, right to education and safe environment.

Being grounded on the UNICEF mandate of “safeguarding the rights of all children, everywhere” which sets out universal and indivisible rights that apply to every child, we would like to urge UNICEF to take action and condemn the violence unleashed against children of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) and Armenia.

UNICEF should call the Azerbaijani government to cease the hostility against children and civilian population and urge them to stay committed to the protection of child’s non-derogable right to life and fully respect the international humanitarian law.

On September 27th, Azerbaijan started a massive attack along the entire border with Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) (NKR). From the very first day, Azerbaijan has been using heavy and wide-range missiles and aircraft against civilian population. As of October 16, a total of 115 people were wounded, of which 95 received serious injuries. A total of 36 civilians have been killed, among which was a 9-year old little girl that has been killed in the yard of her house, whereas her 2-year old brother has received severe injuries. On October 10, after the ceasefire announcement, Azerbaijani subversive group perpetrated executions of Hadrut town civilians. As reported by Artak Beglaryan, Human Rights Defender of Artsakh, among them were two civilians – the mother and her son with disability killed at their home.

Azerbaijani armed forces have been using cluster munitions, which are banned by the international humanitarian law. As it is well-known cluster munitions have horrific effect on children. As UNICEF research has shown roughly 40 percent of victims of cluster bombs are children who are injured or killed long after direct hostilities end. Children are particularly at risk from cluster munitions as they are small and shiny and attract children’s natural curiosity. Another method used by Azerbaijan is the targeted and regular intimidation of civilians using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)/drones the usage of which in the residential areas once again proves that Azerbaijan purposefully targets the civilian population. As a result of such a targeted drone strike by the Azerbaijani armed forces on October 14 a 14-year-old boy, who was heading to the agricultural civilian field for potato harvest, was wounded at the Vardenis-Sotq community of Gegharkunik marz in Armenia. On October 19 Azerbaijani UAVs have again targeted Gegharkunik marz, this time damaging middle schools in Sotq and Kut communities leaving broken windows and cracked walls. Schools are currently on holidays due to the coronavirus pandemic and there were no children inside the buildings at the time of the attack. However, teachers and administrative staff were inside, who fortunately escaped harm.

The children who are still in towns, cities, and villages of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) are not only deprived of their right to education but are under constant fear of death even while in shelters. As a result of the military aggression, the main and auxiliary buildings of more than 10 schools as well as several kindergartens were damaged. According to the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Armenia because of the attacks 24,000 children in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) are not attending schools and have no access to any type of education. Along with this, more than 10,815 children living in 119 frontier communities of Republic of Armenia are deprived of attending schools and kindergartens because of life threatening conditions.

In parallel to the military attacks, while peoples of the world are fighting the COVID-19 deadly virus and are hardly faring in this fight, people that have stayed in the basements or other shelters in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) lack any possibility of maintaining physical distance to limit the spread of the COVID-19 and have limited access to clean water and sanitation thus making the situation incomparably more dangerous.

Numerous agencies, state leaders and international human rights organizations expressed their neutral position against these continuous and unrelenting attacks on the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) and Armenia. On October 9, 2020 UNESCO has released a statement in connection with the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) where it called to refrain from any attacks on, or harm to, children, teachers, education personnel or schools, and urged to uphold the right to education, recalling the principles of the Safe Schools Declaration, that restricts the use of schools and universities for military purposes, to strengthen the protection of education from attack and ensure continuity of safe education during armed conflict.

In view of the above, we, the undersigned, urge UNICEF to:

  • adhere to its mandate and promote protection of every child’s right to life regardless of their place of residence and its international recognition
  • observe and document the violations against children
  • assess the needs of children to provide emergency humanitarian assistance
  • condemn the violence unleashed by the Azerbaijani military and political leadership against children of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) and Armenia

Signed by:

Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor office
Protection of Rights without Borders
Law Development and Protection Foundation
Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation
Open Society Foundations – Armenia
Transparency International Anticorruption Center
Helsinki Committee of Armenia
Union of Informed Citizens
“Asparez” Journalists Club
Arena of Education NGO
Centre for Community Mobilization and Support NGO
Public Journalism Club
Goris Press Club
For Equal Rights NGO
Unison NGO
Center for Rights Development NGO
Women’s Support Center
“Yezidi Center for Human Rights” NGO
Armenian Progressive Youth NGO
“Pink” human rights defender NGO
“Khoran Ard” Intellectual Center NGO
“Public Awareness and Monitoring Centre” NGO
Coalition to Stop Violence against Women
Influential Citizen NGO
“Social Justice” NGO
Womens Rights House NGO
“Tatevik” NGO
Progress of Gyumri” NGO – Civil Society Development Center
“New Generation” Humanitarian NGO
Consumers Support Center NGO
CPI Armenian Center
Human Rights Power NGO
Spitak Helsinki Group
Society Without Violence NGO
Agat NGO
Armavir Development Center NGO
Wild Opportunities NGO
Sexual Assault Crisis Center NGO
Women’s Resource Center Armenia NGO
Consumer Consulting Center NGO
Confidence Health NGO
Human Rights Research Center (HRRC) NGO
Women’s Solidarity Fund
‘’Shogher Union’’ Social-educational NGO
Shams Humanitarian NGO
“Artsvabuyn Zeytun” NGO

On September 27, 2020, the dictatorial regime of Azerbaijan launched a large-scale attack along the entire line of contact of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) using heavy artillery, tanks, aircraft and missiles.

Towns and villages in Artsakh are being bombed, including the capital city of Stepanakert, as well as the border of Armenia in the direction of the town of Vardenis. Azerbaijan specifically targets the civilian population in gross violation of international humanitarian law and with absolute disregard for the call by the UN Secretary General for a worldwide ceasefire given the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are already over a hundred wounded and over a dozen people were killed among the military and civilian population in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), including at least one child.

This attack is unprecedented in the size and scope of the military arsenal engaged. There is clear evidence that it was prepared in advance and with the apparent support of the Turkish regime.

We believe that if the international community does not react in a timely and appropriate manner, the military operations may expand beyond the conflict zone, resulting in serious atrocities and a humanitarian crisis in the region, exacerbated by the situation related to the coronavirus outbreak.

We are determined to support all efforts to address the challenges to human rights, peace, and security in the region.

The Armenian civil society strongly condemns the aggression by the Azerbaijani regime and appeals to the international community, international organizations – the UN, the Council of Europe, the European Union, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs – to take urgent and effective measures to end the Azerbaijani regime aggression and to resume negotiations for peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor

Union of Informed Citizens

Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center

Journalists’ Club Asparez

Open Society Foundations – Armenia

Youth Avangard NGO

“Cinemart” youth NGO

For Equal Rights NGO

Centre for Community Mobilization and Support

Hye Dzmer Pap (HaySanta) Charitable Foundation

Pink human rights defender NGO

Helsinki Association for Human Rights NGO

Veles Human Rights NGO

Women’s Rights House

Protection of Rights without Borders NGO

Public Journalism Club

The Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs (AIISA)

Armenian Progressive Youth NGO

New Generation Humanitarian NGO

Peace Dialogue NGO

Colorful House social-cultural and human right NGO

Armenian Youth League NGO

Human rights power NGO

,, Tatevik,, NGO

Spitak Helsinki Group human rights NGO

Women support center NGO

Young Tavush NGO

Child and Family Development Center Charitable NGO

Armenian Association of Social Workers

Resource Center for Women’s Empowerment NGO

Martuni Wonen’ s Community Counsil NGO

Consumers Support Center NGO

Regional Monitoring @ Evaluation Center NGO

OxYGen Foundation

Sose Women’s Issues NGO

Shams Humanitarian NGO

Martuni Community Development Center NGO

‘You are not alone” womens support NGO

“Centre of Economic Right” NGO

Restart

Women’s Resource Center

Dalma-Sona Fund

NGO Centre of Economic Right

Mission Aid and Development NGO

Road Traffic Safety and Control

Safe traffic

Tumanyan Law Firm

“Khazer” Ecological and Cultural NGO

The Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development

Human Rights Research Center

“Disability-Inclusive Development” NGO

“Poqrik Ishkhan” Educational Complex

Center for Rights Development NGO

Civic Development and Partnership Foundation

Golden Apricot Cinema Development Foundation

Step Forward Social NGO

“Public Awareness and Monitoring Centre”

Non-discrimination and Equality Coalition

Social Justice NGO

Source foundation

“Pathway to” Cultural Charity NGO

Consumers’ Consulting Center NGO

Health Policy and Innovation Center NGO

Real World, Real People NGO

“DiverCity” Social-Cultural, Humanitarian NGO

Women’s Empowerment Center NGO

Unison NGO

Driver’s friend

LAMP foundation

‘Artsvabuyn Zeytun” compatriotic union n.g.o.

EcoLur Informational NGO

“CPI” Armenian Centre

Europe in Law Association

”We can” Non -Gavernemental Organization  for the protection of rights for youth and children with intellectual disabilities and their family members.

Astghatsolk NGO

“Armenian Forests” NGO

The Voice of Silence

“Goy” Environmental-Legal NGO

“Yanus” Legal NGO

“Local Democracy Agency” foundation

Full Life NGO

“Association of Audio-Visual Reporters” NGO

Skarp Inclusive Health Center NGO

Family&Community NGO

Society Without Violence

Work and Motherland Regional Development NGO

Law development and protection foundation

Information Systems Development and Training Center

Armavir Development Center

Freedom of Information Center

“Huysi Metsamor”ngo

“TANIQ”  NGO

National Center of Public Policy Research NGO

<<Women’s Forum>>NGO

“BLEJAN” environmental, social, business support NGO

Satar NGO

“Astghik”  Disabled Children’s Parents’ Association, NGO

PRKUTYUN center of disabled children and young people

World Vision Armenia

Women’s Rights Center NGO

PRKUTYU center of disabled children and young peopleRKUTYUN

Women’s Rights Center NGO

ALIQ MEDIA ARMENIA

Country Water Partnership

Freedom of Media and Speech Civil Society Development NGO

“Partnership and Teaching” NGO

“Community and Youth” youth, consulting NGO

“Shirak Teachers’ Union” scientific-educational center

Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation

Youth for Ararat civic-educational NGO

International Center for Human Development

Tufenkian Charitable foundation

Institute of Public Policy

Youth Cooperation Center of Dilijan NGO

“Havat” Public org, of deaf children’s mothers

Armenian United Nations Association

“Harmony” NGO of people who are Blind

“Shogher Union” Social-educational NGO

“Ani Haykuni” Cancer Treatment Support Foundation

ProMedia-Gender NGO /WomenNet.am

Democracy Today NGO

Sexual Assault Crisis center

Child Development Foundation

NGO “ECOTEAM – Energy and Environment consulting”

“Angel “Social Educational and Cultural Non-Governmental Organization

“Women in Black, Armenia” PeaceBuilding Initiative

Human Rights House Yerevan

Armenia Tree Project Charitable Foundation

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, are writing to express our grave disappointment with the indifference of international organizations in regards to the war crimes and atrocities being perpetrated on the people of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh).

On September 27 2020, Azerbaijan started a war with Artsakh, disregarding the call of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in March and a subsequent UN resolution in June 2020 that urged for a global cease-fire in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On September 28, 2020, a group of civil society representatives, joined by 100 organizations, issued a call to the international community demanding that it take urgent and effective measures to put an end to the Azerbaijani military aggression and to resume negotiations for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

On October 1, 2020, there was another call, which stressed that if the international community did not react in a timely and appropriate manner to the instigated war, it had to share the responsibility for the atrocities and destabilization that would occur in the region. This call was precipitated by the existence of solid evidence regarding the engagement of Turkey in the war through its military personnel and equipment as well as deployment of mercenaries, including terrorist groups, recruited from Syria. This call was signed by more than 200 organizations and individuals and a petition was delivered at a civic action in front of the UN building in Yerevan.

To date, there has been no reaction from any international partners. As Desmond Tutu, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, stated ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.’

Meanwhile, the systematic indiscriminate shelling, with the use of cluster munitions, ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, of Stepanakert and other peaceful settlements, has resulted in the loss of human lives and life-changing injuries, significant damage to civilian infrastructures, such as schools, kindergartens and hospitals, and cultural objects, but also in the displacement of a significant part of the civil population of Artsakh.

Ombudspersons of both Artsakh and Armenia have documented paramount evidence of war crimes resulting from the attacks of Azerbaijan/Turkey in their reports on Artsakh (dated October 1 and October 10) and Armenia (dated October 1). Ombudspersons have also repeatedly extended calls to the international community to intervene to stop the ongoing violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.

While in Armenia the international community was mostly silent in regard with the situation in Artsakh, in Azerbaijan, representatives of international organizations and diplomatic missions visited Ganja to personally witness the consequences of the conflict. The UN Resident Coordinator in Baku made an apparently biased statement that they want the Azerbaijani community to return to Nagorno Karabakh. Representative of UNICEF in Baku has made a statement on that they will provide support to children, injured during an Armenian missile attack in Ganja.

The majority of the international organizations are not permitted to visit Artsakh, because of it being a “non-recognized state․” Vardenis and Artsvanik, however, are in the territory of the internationally recognized Republic of Armenia, and the international actors did not go there to observe the damage caused by the Azerbaijani shelling that resulted in civilian casualties.

Drawing parallels, we consider the current stance of international organizations, and particularly the UN structures in Armenia, as an unprecedented negligence of their mandates, values and responsibilities. The war is in its 19th day and we have yet to witness a single effective action of international organizations to condemn and prevent the actions of the autocratic leaders of Azerbaijan and Turkey, one of whom is ready to sacrifice his own people’s lives in order to maintain his power and wealth earned through corruption, while the other tries to return to the boundaries of the Ottoman empire through the same genocidal techniques as did his predecessors. A century ago, there were no organized international organizations to adequately react to the violence of dictators, but now the existing multiple organizations are idle and silent and act as mere spectators of the demonstration of the newest weaponry and death of innocent people in the battlefield of Artsakh.

The people of Artsakh have been abandoned and left completely alone with their tragedy, facing an existential threat. Even more tragic is the impending humanitarian crisis, which may not even be documented by the eligible organizations given their bans for entry to the ‘non-recognized’ state of Artsakh. These non-actions are absolutely incompatible with the UN’s major promise of the UN Sustainable Development Goals requiring that we “leave no one behind”.

It is needless to say how shocked and frustrated we are to witness the complete inaction of international organizations working in Armenia and particularly the UN agencies represented in the country. We are certain that the UN Office in Armenia understands clearly who started this war and what is currently happening to the indigenous people of Artsakh who merely want to live on the land of their ancestors who have built a historic, cultural and political heritage for many centuries. And people in Artsakh deserve to live a peaceful and dignified life in their homeland.

We believe that the spirit of the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, internationally recognized norms and principles, including the absolute prohibition of war crimes under the international customary law creates both the moral and legal authority for all UN entities to speak for the peoples of unrecognized territories as well. Human lives matter regardless of politics, money and boundaries. The potential ethnic cleansing and humanitarian crisis should be prevented, no matter if the respective territory is recognized or not.

We highly appreciate the timely statements of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, yet we know that the events on the ground require more active and in-depth engagement without further delay in order to prevent additional human suffering.
We appeal to the UN in Armenia to act in line with its mandate – taking an active stance in stopping the war, resolving the conflict through negotiations and preventing the humanitarian crisis in the region.

We particularly urge the UN Office in Armenia

  1. To fully explore and clearly condemn the military offensive and deployment of mercenaries in the region by Azerbaijan and Turkey and act to stop their aggression leading to the ethnic cleansing in Artsakh;
  2. To prepare grounds and facilitate the visit of international representatives to the territory of Artsakh in order to collect and document evidence on the breaches of the international humanitarian law and atrocities in its peaceful settlements;
  3. To provide help to the Government of Armenia to overcome the problems caused by the accelerated spread of COVID-19 as a result of the Azerbaijan/Turkey instigated war;
  4. To ensure due humanitarian assistance is made available for the Government of Armenia to ensure relief for the displaced people of Artsakh;
  5. To work with Baku-based counterparts and elaborate a program for the neutralization of hatred, hostilities and war propaganda in the region, as stipulated under Article 20 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.

The statement is signed by the below-mentioned organizations and more than a hundred individuals from Armenia and Diaspora.

Helsinki Citizens Assembly Vanadzor
Open Society Foundations – Armenia
Transparency International Anticorruption Center
Journalists’ Club “Asparez” NGO
Union of Informed Citizens NGO
“Pink” human rights defender NGO
“Agate” Rights Defense Center for Women with Disabilities
“Angel “Social Educational and Cultural Non-Governmental Organization
Aliq Media Armenia
All for Equal Rights Foundation
Ampop Media
АRI Literature Foundation
Armavir Development Center NGO
Armenian Progressive Youth NGO
Armenian United Nations Association
Armenian Youth League
Association of Young Historians
“BLEJAN” environmental, social, business support NGO
Center for Perspective Development NGO
Center for Political and Economic Strategic Studies
Centre for Community Mobilization and Support
Centre for Policy Studies
Centre of Economic Right NGO
Child Protection Network
Children Assistance Fund
“Cinemart” youth NGO
Civic Forum
Civil Youth Center NGO
Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression
Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression
Communities Finance Officers Association
“Community center for development” territorial cooperation NGO
Confederation of Trade Unions of Armenia
Consumers’ Consulting Center
Country Water Partnership
Democracy Today
“EcoLur” Informational NGO
“Education and Solidarity” Trade Union
“Elegia” Educational-Cultural NGO
Europe in Law Association
Federation of Youth Clubs of Armenia
FM Independent Journalism Platform
For Equal Rights NGO
Freedom of Information Center
Golden Apricot Fund for Cinema Development
Gyumris CEC NGO
HaySanta Charity Foundation
“Hazarashen” Armenian Center for Ethnological Studies
Helsinki Citizens Assembly Armenian Committee
Helsinki Committee of Armenia
Human Rights House Yerevan
Human Rights Research Center NGO
‘Huys” NGO
Hyestart
Improve Our Village NGO
“Index of Equality” human rights protection NGO
Influential Citizen NGO
Journalists for the Future
Katil Charitable Foundation
“Khazer” Ecological and Cultural NGO
“Khoran Ard” Intellectual center NGO
LAMP Foundation
Law Development and Protection Foundation
Martuni Women’s Community Council
Media Diversity Institute – Armenia
Media Initiatives Center
Mihr Theatre
Mission Aid and Development NGO
Moument of Farmers NGO
Muzanav Cultural NGO
New Generation Humanitarian NGO
NGO Ecoteam
Non-Discrimination and Equality Coalition
Peace Dialogue NGO
Political Innovations’ Centre
Progress of Gyumri CSDC
Protection of Rights without Borders NGO
Public Journalism Club
Public Union Advocstes
Real World, Real People NGO
Recourse Center for Women’s Empowerment
Restart Student-Civic foundation
“Shogher Union” Social-educational NGO
Social and Youth workers
Social Justice NGO
Society Without Violence NGO
Socioscope NGO
Sose Women’s Issues NGO
“Shams” Humanitarian NGO
The Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development
Tookhmanook NGO
TRTU Cultural NGO
Union of Informed Citizens NGO
Unison NGO
WINNET Armenia Network of Women Resource Centers
Women’s Support Center
Women’s Empowerment Center NGO
Women’s Forum NGO
Women’s Resource Center
World Armenian Youth Network
Yerevan Press Club
“Youth for Change” Civil Society Development NGO

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Զապել Եսայանի նամակը Անայիսին

Զապել Եսայան (1878-1943)
Զապել Եսայանը 20-րդ դարի հայ գրականանության ամենակարևոր գրողներից է։ Նա հայտնի է նաև որպես հասարակական գործիչ և մարդու իրավունքների պաշտպան։ Ունի մեծ թվով ստեղծագործություններ և հրապարակախոսություններ, որտեղ բարձրացնում է կանանց իրավունքների հարցը մարդու հիմնարար իրավունքների համատեքստում։

 

Սիրելի և հարգելի տիկին

Մեծ հաճույքով և մեծ գնահատումով կարդացի Ձեր գեղեցիկ էջը «Շարժանկար»-ը Անահիտ-ի առաջին թվին մեջ։ Ձեր բանաստեղծական տաղանդը ինձ ծանոթ է արդեն, և ավելորդ պիտի ըլլար որևէ կարծիք հայտնել արդեն իսկ նվիրագործված տաղանդի մը մեկ արտահակյտության մասին, եթե Ձեր այս վերջին հրատարակած արձակը ի հայտ չի բերեր նոր բովանդակության համար նոր ձև մը կերտելու Ձեր շատ հաջող փորձը։ Ինչ որ շատ մը տարիքով երիտասարդներու համար անկարելի կը դառնա։ Դուք հաջողեր եք իրականացնել անճիգ կերպով Ձեր հոգեկան, մշտատև երիտասարդության ուժով։

Այս առթիվ կհիշեմ դեպք մը, որ կ’ուզեմ Ձեզ պատմել իբրև գաղտնիք (երկու կիներ շատ բան կրնան իրարու պատմել)։ Հայտնի ֆրանսիացի անձանվորություն մը, որ մեծ պաշտոնով պիտի երթար Կիլիկիա, ինձ հետ տեսակցություն մը ունեցավ (տարիներ առաջ)։ Տեսակցություններ ունեցեր էր արդեն զանազան քաղաքական հայ դեմքերու հետ և, ի միջի այլոց, պատահմամբ օրիորդի մը հետ։ Պետք է ըսեմ, թե բավական հուսախաբ էր, եղած առաջարկություններուն անգործնականության համար։ Նկատելով, որ ավելորդ է բոլորովին քաղաքական խնդիրներ շոշափել, օգտվելով իմ փորձառութենես և Կիլիկիո մասին ունեցած անձամբ տեղեկություններես, խոսակցությունը մղեցի կարգ մը անմիջական և գործնական խնդիրներու շուրջ։ Մարդը ապշած բացականչեց․ «Ինչպես կ’ըլլա, տիկի՛ն, որ կիները հայերու մեջ այսքան բանիմաց են և խելացի, իսկ․․․»։ Այն հայ օրիորդը, որ տեսեր էր շատ լավ տպավորություն ըրեր էր իր վրա։

Արդյոք նույն բա՞նն է նաև գրականության մեջ։ Ձեր «Շարժանկարը»-ը իր ձևի և բովանդակության մասնահատուկ գեղեցկությունով ինձ ներշնչեց այս մտածումը, երբ այնքան երիտասարդ գրիչներ դեռ կը հապաղին անդրջրհեղեղյան մանիներու մեջ։

Մեծապես ուրախ եմ իմ անկեղծ զգացումներս Ձեզ հայտնելով և այս առթիվ, սիրելի տիկի՛ն, կը խնդրեմ, որ ընդունիք սիրալիր բարևներս և հարգանքներս։

 

Ձերդ՝

Զապել Եսայան

1929, հունիս 12
 
Աղբյուրը՝ «Արևմտահայ գրողների նամականի», Գիրք VI, 1972, Երևանի համալսարանի հրատարակչություն

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