PARIS — 200 French intellectuals, writers, artists and cultural personalities, including Sylvain Tesson, Jean Reno, Carole Bouquet and Philippe Katerine, are mobilizing for the 120,000 Armenians of Artsakh threatened with ethnic cleansing by the ‘Azerbaijan.
The petition published by Le Figaro reads:
During this Christmas period when we will join our loved ones, where we will rejoice in celebrating the family beyond all religious borders, where many of us will perhaps have a thought for those who are alone or in pain, let us remember that the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh have been cut off for nearly two weeks from the rest of the world by Azerbaijan.
At a time when our children will discover their gifts, the parents of the 30,000 children of Nagorno-Karabakh will aspire to one thing only: to preserve the life, the future of theirs in these high mountains where their ancestors were born more than two thousand years ago.
After the war, after the phosphorus bombs, the tortures, which shattered so many lives in 2020, this is indeed the last perversion conceived by the Azerbaijani dictatorship: blocking the Lachin corridor, the only access route for the Armenians of Artsakh / Nagorno-Karabakh outwards. Consequences: separated families, shortages worsening day by day, absence of medical help which has already cost a life and threatens several patients in critical care, including children.
We admire the courage of these people full of dignity who do not give in to panic and organize themselves, because they resist and will resist until the end. But they are counting on us, and we cannot escape their call. Christmas 2022 is strange. We are celebrating the birth of a king of poverty in straw shirt who came to bring the warmth of his light to men. And this is the day that the tyrant of oil and economic growth deliberately chose to plunge an entire population into darkness and cold.
What future will we offer our children, if we give reason to dictatorship, to barbarism, against one of our oldest civilizations, against a brotherly people, linked to us for centuries, against a nation that has always contributed to the dialogue between cultures?
What will our children think, on what values will they be able to build themselves, if we let the unthinkable happen again? Indifference, platonic protests authorize today’s aggressors to shamelessly claim to be the executioners of 1915, their sinister heritage, to use the same methods to put an end to those they abhor, because they look alike.
So our wishes that the abominations of the 20th century never happen again were just irenic wishes. So in this world the wicked always triumph as long as they have things to sell and provide to their neighbors.
The soul of the Armenians indeed lives in our masterpieces of Romanesque art, the thought of our philosophers of the Enlightenment, romantic poetry, our fights for justice, our accordion tunes, the bouquet of tulips you may offer on Saturday evening.
Finally, let us remember that if we know about Christmas, the Armenians no doubt had something to do with it, they who sent us their pilgrims from the 5th century, they who gave us the gingerbread that will garnish our tables and the names of the Magi.
Let us remember and above all, let us mobilize. From our united consciences, from our united voices, from all the ways in which each of us will oppose the drama that is being played out, we will be able to preserve the lives of the 120,000 Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh.