Man dies of hunger in Karabakh

A rally in Nagorno Karabakh (PC: Ani Balayan/CivilNet)

By Syuzanna Petrosyan

A case of death from starvation was recorded in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) on Tuesday evening local time, according to the Office of the Human Rights Defender in the region.

K. Hovhannisyan, a 40-year-old resident of Stepanakert, died as a result of chronic malnutrition and protein deficiency, states a report conducted by the human rights office.

Azerbaijan’s eight-month blockade of Karabakh has left 120,000 people in the region without access to food, medicine and critical supplies. The lack of transportation fuel means that any available resources, such as fruits and vegetables from orchards, don’t reach where they need to.

Last week, the International Criminal Court’s former chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, said the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh should be considered a genocide and called on the United Nations Security Council to refer the issue to the tribunal.

“There is a reasonable basis to believe that a genocide is being committed against Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh,” Luis Moreno Ocampo wrote in a widely publicized report. “Starvation is the invisible genocide weapon.”

Following a formal appeal to the UN by Armenia, the Security Council announced that it will hold emergency talks tomorrow on Azerbaijan’s blockade.

In its report, Karabakh’s Human Rights Defender notes that the consequences of Azerbaijan’s blockade are having disastrous effects on the most vulnerable groups, including children, pregnant women, people with chronic diseases, the disabled and the elderly.

“From the outside, it may seem that if we haven’t all died of hunger yet, then things aren’t so bad, but people are suffering every day,” says Siranush Adamyan, a Stepanakert-based reporter for CivilNet.

“There is no food, no medicine, no electricity, no natural gas, no public transport, and now not even water,” she added.

Since the 2020 war, CivilNet is the only outside media organization with a field office in Stepanakert, providing real-time, on-the-ground coverage of the critical situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

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