An Appeal from Democracy Today: an alarming situation in Armenia

Dear representatives of International community NGO leaders and citizens of the world!

On December 12, 2022, the forces of President Aliev’s regime blocked the Lachin Corridor, the only route linking Nagorno Karabakh to the outside world.  This is in direct violation of the November 9, 2020 ceasefire agreement signed by Azerbaijan to end hostilities of the 44-Day War, where the President of Azerbaijan, IlhamAliev guaranteed “the security of persons, vehicles and cargo moving along the Lachin Corridor in both directions.” With the closure of the Lachin Corridor, the delivery of vital supplies, including food and medication, has been halted, creating a humanitarian catastrophe for 120,000 people living in Nagorno Karabakh.

The events unfolding now in Nagorno Karabakh remind us of the tragedy of Srebrenica in 1995. Thousands of people died due to the lack of a timely and appropriate response to similar provocations by the international community. The lack of a swift and unified condemnation of the current developments will only convince Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev that he can continue such actions with absolute impunity.  Similar to the 1948 Berlin Airlift, when another dictator, Joseph Stalin, attempted to cut off Berlin’s food, water, and electricity, the international community can help prevent a humanitarian disaster by ensuring the safety of the airlift.

An international humanitarian airlift should be organized immediately to deliver food and other essential supplies to the local population using the airport in Stepanakert, Nagorno Karabagh’s largest city

As a global citizen caring high values  of humanism  urge you to do everything in your power:

  • To condemn Azerbaijan’s blockade of Nagorno Karabakh;
  • In the name of the international community to guarantee the safety of the air traffic for the humanitarian airlift to deliver  essential supplies, in accordance with the legal doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). 

Please keep us informed about the steps you are taking to help lifting the blockade of the 120,000 residents of Nagorno Karabakh and to prevent the impending humanitarian catastrophe.

Thank you in advance for your help,

Gulnara Shahinian, former UN Special Rapporteur on slavery 2008-2014, chair of NGO ‘ Democracy Today “