STRASBOURG — On July 12, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), after examining the request of the Armenian government to apply interim measures against Azerbaijan regarding the unblocking of the Lachin Corridor, decided to reaffirm the decision made on December 21, 2022, according to a statement released by the Office of the Representative on International Legal Matters on July 17.
The December 21 ruling ordered Azerbaijan to “take all measures” to ensure safe passage through the “Lachin Corridor” for seriously ill persons in need of medical treatment in Armenia, as well as for others who were stranded on the road without shelter or means of subsistence.
With this decision, the European Court of Human Rights reaffirmed the need to implement the decision made on December 21, 2022, in the current situation, and it must be implemented by Azerbaijan.
The Lachin Corridor, which is the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and the rest of the world, has been blocked by Azerbaijan since late 2022. The Azerbaijani blockade constitutes a gross violation of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement, which established that the 5km-wide Lachin Corridor shall be under the control of Russian peacekeepers. Furthermore, on February 22, 2023, the United Nations’ highest court—the International Court of Justice (ICJ)—ordered Azerbaijan to “take all steps at its disposal” to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles, and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions. Azerbaijan has been ignoring the order ever since. Moreover, Azerbaijan then illegally installed a checkpoint on the Lachin Corridor. The blockade has led to shortages of essential products such as food and medication. Azerbaijan has also cut off gas and power supply to Nagorno-Karabakh, with officials warning that Baku seeks to commit ethnic cleansing against Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. Hospitals have suspended normal operations, and the Red Cross has been facilitating the medical evacuations of patients.