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Statements and speeches Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Azerbaijan / Armenia - Comment by UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk

26 September 2023



I am following with concern the evolving and fragile humanitarian situation. It is important that the rights of the ethnic Armenian population on the ground are safeguarded and all actions rooted in international law.  Protection of all civilians must be an absolute priority. Those affected must have access to humanitarian assistance.

The rights of internally displaced people and of those in a refugee-like situation must be fully upheld, including ensuring that they are able to exercise their right to return in safety and dignity. I also call for proper attention to reports of missing people.

Any reported violations of human rights or international humanitarian law require follow-up, including prompt, independent and transparent investigations to ensure accountability and redress for the victims, as appropriate.

States have an obligation not to deny ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, or to use their own language. Each State should also protect the existence and the national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity of minorities within its territory and encourage conditions for promoting that identity.


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