Daniel Ioannisyan’s speech on Armenophobia: OSCE ODIHR Human Dimensions Conference

As you already know, Armenia has received more than 100 thousand refugees from Nagorno Karabakh. And I want to focus on two things – why it happened and how it went.


As it was noted yesterday, Armenophobia is widespread in Azerbaijan. Killing an unarmed sleeping Armenian is considered a heroism. At the same time there are no democratic institutions in Azerbaijan, like an independent judiciary, that can protect Armenians from ill treatment and executions.


Any Armenian knows that if they stay under Azerbaijani rule, even if they are not going to be killed by the state (which has happened recently), there are thousands of Azerbajanis who would like to kill Armenians and no punishment will follow (we have many examples).

All the Armenians who did not manage to escape their towns and villages before the arrival of the Azerbaijani army back in 2020 were captured at best, executed at worst. Amnesty International also reported on the executions of Armenian civilians.

We were all shocked by the massacre in Bucha. But do you know why more Ukrainian civilians were killed in Bucha than Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh? Because the Ukrainians did not expect that the Russian army would execute them, while the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh knew what was awaiting them.

This is why more that 99,9 percent of Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh left their homes when Azerbaijan took control after its recently launched large-scale and pre-planned military attack. Attack that followed a 9-month blockade of Nagorno Karabakh and the inhumane suffering it caused.

People of Nagorno Karabakh were forced to leave their homes and all their personal belongings, except those that would fit in their cars or the buses. 100 thousand Armenians left everything they had and went on a journey without knowing where they are going to stay and how they are going to earn their living.

And I am talking about the relatively lucky ones, who had time to collect personal belongings and reach the host destination.

Those who lived in villages taken by Azerbaijani troops during the invasion simply left their homes without taking anything (even without documents). They just took their children and ran away.

Also, many people died in the rush of escaping, like those 170 people who died because of a petrol station explosion.

Ladies and gentlemen, dictatorships like Russia and Azerbaijan are the reason for the humanitarian crises in the OSCE region. They have a mindset that is different from that of the majority in this hall, their logic is based on other constructs. Now many of you do not believe that Azerbaijan is preparing another attack against Armenia, which they call “Western Azerbaijan”.

Colleagues from Azerbaijan are talking about the history of conflict. Well, then it should be mentioned that the Karabakh conflict started 35 years ago, after the massacre of Armenians living in Sumgait and Baku. There are mentions of about ethnic Azerbajianians who left Armenia 30 years ago, but they are silent about ethnic Armenians who left Azerbaijan. And they are silent about the fact that back in those days usually it was a simple symmetric exchange of villages between Armenians and Azerbaijanis.

And because the Azerbaijani delegation is going behind my back, is going behind my back. I should call them to stop the continuous slandering of Armenian NGOs and to explain what their president meant when saying that they are driving away Armenians like dogs.

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