YEREVAN — Freedom House has published a report summary titled “Why are there no Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh?”.

The report documents how ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh were intentionally subjected to regular attacks, intimidation, deprivation of basic rights and adequate living conditions, and forced displacement by the Azerbaijani state.

This report examines the situation for ethnic Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh for the period starting with the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020 and through the Azerbaijani military offensive against Nagorno-Karabakh in September 2023 and its aftermath. It is an initial summary with a full, extended report to be released later. Through an international fact-finding effort that included hundreds of witness interviews and open-source data, the analysis aims to answer why there are no ethnic Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh as of May 2024. It documents how people in Nagorno-Karabakh were intentionally subjected to regular attacks, intimidation, deprivation of basic rights and adequate living conditions, and forced displacement. The evidence demonstrates that the Azerbaijani state acted upon a comprehensive, methodically implemented strategy to empty Nagorno-Karabakh of its ethnic Armenian population and historical and cultural presence.

During more than three hundred and thirty in-depth interviews with witnesses, gross violations of the norms of human rights, international humanitarian law and international criminal law by the Azerbaijani authorities were recorded.

The fact-finding mission found that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the actions of the Azerbaijani authorities constitute crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, including Article 7 (crimes against humanity) and Article 8 (war crimes), and amount to the forcible displacement of a population. to the definition, as well as to the standards of ethnic cleansing defined by UN experts in the context of the former Yugoslavian conflict.

This fact-finding report was jointly prepared by Freedom House, International Partnership for Human Rights, Democracy Development Foundation, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly – Vanadzor, Protection of Rights without Borders NGO, Law Development and Protections Foundation, and Truth Hounds. Media Diversity Institute conducted the open-source investigation and verification. Talin Hitik provided substantial support editing the summary and the larger report. Anoush Baghdassarian made a significant contribution to editing several sections of the larger report. The methodology and questionnaires were prepared by Democracy Development Foundation, International Partnership for Human Rights, and Truth Hounds. The fact-finding mission was made possible with the support of Open Society Foundations and Freedom House. The fact-finding mission was coordinated by the Democracy Development Foundation.

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