Expelling Azerbaijanis from nowadays Armenia is an unprecedented injustice

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BAKU: Western Azerbaijan Community, which was established as the Society of Azerbaijani Refugees in 1989 and was renamed to the Community of Western Azerbaijan in 2022, deals with the protection of the rights of the Azerbaijanis, who were expelled from the area, which was their homeland for centuries, and which is now called Armenia. 

Expelling Azerbaijanis from nowadays Armenia is an unprecedented injustice, given its political, legal, and humanitarian dimensions.

The ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis was carried out in most cases with systematic efforts of state authorities by using violence, massacres, and other crimes against humanity and human rights violations. This process was especially violent and cruel in 1905-06, 1918-21, 1948-53, and 1988-91. The results of these acts, especially the deeds of the entities called “The Republic of Armenia” and “The Mountainous Republic of Armenia”, the Soviet Union, in particular its notorious leader Joseph Stalin, who ensured the transfer of Zangezur and other Azerbaijani-majority areas to Armenia in 1921 and signed the racist order on the deportation of one hundred thousand of ethnic Azerbaijanis from Armenia, as well as the malfeasance of the leadership of the Armenian SSR in 1988-91 remain unredressed. As a result of the ethnic cleansing, this territory has been inhabited exclusively by ethnic Armenians since 1991.

Azerbaijani cultural and historical heritage, including mosques and graveyards in nowadays Armenia, were destroyed, toponyms were changed, and systematic racial discrimination against Azerbaijanis was carried out in this country. The persons involved in ethnic cleansing and other crimes against ethnic Azerbaijanis and their misdeeds are glorified in Armenia as a matter of state policy.

This unprecedented injustice created a sense of impunity among the ruling circles of Armenia and encouraged them to territorial claims, use of force and military occupation against the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan, further massive ethnic cleansing, and other crimes against humanity.

The victorious self-defense operation, which Azerbaijan conducted in 2020 against the armed attack and occupation of Armenia, is a milestone event in restoring justice. Azerbaijan’s victory has increased prospects of the peace between the two countries.

On the other hand, the inability of Azerbaijanis, who were expelled from nowadays Armenia, to return to their homes, the continuation of the policy of mono-ethnic statehood, ethnic cleansing, and racial discrimination in Armenia represent an immense injustice. This poses a grave threat to the maintenance of lasting peace.

As the decades-old credible representative of the millions of Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia, Western Azerbaijan Community is determined to carry out its activity with increased vigor to restore the rights of the affected people. Based on the right to return enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and other important international acts, the Community aspires toward ensuring the return of Azerbaijanis expelled from nowadays Armenia to their homes in safety and dignity, and realization of their individual and collective rights after the return.