The issues concerning the state borders of Armenia are being “fully mishandled”, said Arman Tatoyan, Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) of Armenia in a press conference on Tuesday, reports Panorama & News.am
The delimitation and demarcation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border under the current conditions actually legalizes the violation of the rights of the residents of Armenia’s Syunik and Gegharkunik Provinces, said Tatoyan.
“All issues are addressed in the military and political terms, whereas human rights issues are completely ignored,” he told a news conference.
According to Tatoyan, one of the key issues in determining the borders of a country is the extent to which the rights of residents of its border settlements are protected and guaranteed.
“In our case, the state has set boundaries for itself due to the supremacy of military and political components. As a result, a dangerous thesis emerges that human rights and security are in conflict. The impression is that since there are military and political issues, therefore it is a matter of security and human rights have nothing to do here,” Tatoyan said, adding that in reality human rights and security complement each other.
Tatoyan said, in the current conditions, it is simply impossible to delimit and demarcate these border, as it may lead to further aggravation of the situation, especially in terms of violation of the rights of residents of Armenia’s border villages.
“Their rights must be restored. The mentioned processes must be carried out in parallel with the withdrawal of the Azerbaijani armed forces from the territory of Armenia,” emphasized Tatoyan.
The Ombudsman said he is not against the deciding of the borders, but, in his opinion, this process should be carried out correctly, without violating the rights of the residents of Armenia’s border communities.
Thus, according to him, the delimitation and demarcation of Armenian-Azerbaijani border is impossible as long as the Azerbaijani military continues to be illegally in the sovereign territory of Armenia.
The human rights defender noted that in case of considering the issues from the perspective of human rights, the state will increase its opportunities.
“It is true, the violations of the rights of Armenia’s border residents are committed by the Azerbaijani troops, but the Republic of Armenia has an obligation to protect its citizens,” Tatoyan said.
The ombudsman stated if human rights are put at the core of the process and human rights mechanisms are used, the state will be able to strengthen its position in political and military instances.
“For example, now the Azerbaijani authorities have widely developed peace processes, but at the international discussions we were able to present the reality precisely because of these facts. Human rights violations are presented based on concrete facts,” Tatoyan said, noting that these components will definitely help the authorities to deal with military-political issues.
The ombudsman said that the military and political components are apparently beneficial for Azerbaijan, as the Armenian side has more opportunities to present violations.
Tatoyan called for an appropriate state policy on the matter to be implemented by state institutions.