On the morning of June 16, Nine Azerbaijani soldiers stole a cow and a newborn calf from an Armenian shepherd’s pasture in the village of Verin Shorzha in Gegharkunik Province, informs Arman Tatoyan, the Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) of Armenia in Facebook post.
Tatoyan’s full statement runs as follows,
“In particular, based on the alarms received today, the Human Rights Defender’s Office found out that a pastor of a pasture in the pasture of Verin Shorzha village, Vardenis community, Gegharkunik region, woke up to an Azeri shot at around 05:30 this morning.
As soon as he woke up, he found out that the Azeri soldiers were shooting at his cattle, which were in the open at that time, in the immediate vicinity of his place of residence.
He quickly went to the animals and found that there was no cow or newborn calf. Shortly afterwards, he noticed that 9 armed Azerbaijani servicemen were driving the cow-calf to their positions. Together with the other shepherds, they tried to bring back the animals, which at that moment started running towards the shepherds.
However, the Azeri soldiers started firing at the animals, injuring the cow’s leg, preventing them from reaching the shepherds. Shots were fired at the sailors.
Then, the shepherds observed how 4 hours after the theft, at around 09:30, the Azerbaijani soldiers slaughtered the cow in their positions.
The Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia specifically states that this theft took place in the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, and the Azeri servicemen came down from the positions that are illegally located in the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia.
All the other circumstances mentioned in the incident were confirmed to the Human Rights Defender’s staff by all the other pastors, and they were checked.
These pastures are inhabited by seasonal people in the spring, summer and autumn months, and graze their small and large cattle in the pasture (these places are commonly called mountain pastures). People also live here with their families, and their right to graze animals on pastures is enshrined in legal documents and contracts with the community.
In other words, the Azerbaijani servicemen are committing blatant criminal acts with the intent to deprive the citizens of the Republic of Armenia of their right to life, other livestock, livestock, and the opportunity to earn a family income. Moreover, they did not return the animals recently stolen from the citizens of the Republic of Armenia (Kut of Gegharkunik region, Verin Shorzha, Aravus of Syunik region, Khnatsakh villages, etc.).
This case of crime once again confirms that the protection of the rights of the population of the Republic of Armenia requires the existence of a security zone with absolute urgency from the criminal acts of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.”