Based on the ground norms of international law the forum of indigenous Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan
proceeding from conviction that each person has a right to such a social and legal international order that ensures full implementation of his (her) inalienable rights and freedoms,
taking into account that the parties to the OSCE treaty bear collective responsibility for all-round observance of the principle of respect for human rights in the space of OSCE countries,
taking note that more than 100 thousand Armenian families have been expatriated from their homeland for more than twenty years, and their political, civic, economic, social and cultural rights have been oppressed,
pointing out that the lasting military-political confrontation between the Republic of Armenia, the non-recognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan Republic may not serve as a political acquittal for actual alienation of the statutory rights of Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan SSR,
expressing in this connection a dissatisfaction with activities of co-chairmen of the Minsk Group of OSCE over the issue of restoration of infringed rights of Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan SSR,
setting a goal of favoring the reconciliation of peoples, return of refugees, establishment of nondiscriminatory public and international order based on democracy and respect for human rights as the only way to effective development of all nations in the region,
adopts this Declaration of the rights of indigenous Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan SSR.
Part 1. The Responsibility of Parties to the OSCE Treaty for Infringement of Human Rights
in Azerbaijan during its Secession from the Union of SSR
- The Armenians of Azerbaijan SSR became victims of malicious and deliberate discrimination including the denial of their right to life since 1988. The ethnic cleansing of Armenians in Azerbaijan SSR went along with brutal pogroms and deportation. However, the majority of promoters, organizers and principals of these atrocities remain unpunished to date. The government of Azerbaijan Republic continues its purposeful policy on securing the results of discrimination of the Armenians of Azerbaijan SSR, as well as the discrimination policy on other native peoples of Azerbaijan.
- The national independence of the Azerbaijan Republic was announced in 1991 by the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan SSR contrary to the principle of the rule of law. The authorities of Azerbaijan Republic
– unfoundedly deprived the citizens of the Union of SSR living on the territory of Azerbaijan SSR of the right to citizenship,
– infringed their political, civic, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right of the population of НКАА to determine independently its state-legal status as was reserved by the legislation of the USSR,
as well as the rights of indigenous Armenian population that compactly inhabited the territories of its ancestry,
– denied the people of Nagorno Karabakh in realization of the right to self-determination, abolished the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Area, imposed a blockade around the Nagorno Karabakh and resorted to force against its population struggling for existence and independence.
- The proclamation of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and declaration of its independence was the only possible political and legal way for survival, protection of inherent rights and political freedom of the Nagorno Karabakh population. On September 2,1991 the joint session of Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Area and of Shaumyan Regional Soviet of People’s Deputies with the participation of the Deputies of different level Soviets had sufficient legal, political and moral grounds for proclamation of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. On January 6, 1992, the Supreme Soviet of NKR,- the freely elected national parliament, had legal powers and sufficient political grounds to adopt the Declaration of state independence of NKR in accordance with norms of international law and the will of the majority of population as expressed at the referendum in the month of December, 1991.
- The admission of Azerbaijan for full participation in OSCE was achieved despite the non-observance of the principles of supremacy of Law, equality of peoples and the right of nations to administer their own destiny. The unconditional international recognition of the national independence of the Azerbaijan Republic permits the government of this state:
– to ignore its responsibility for restoration of the rights of Armenians banished from Azerbaijan SSR;
– to negate the right of the population of Nagorno Karabakh to self-determination;
– to authorize an illegal use of force against the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and occupation of its land.
The international recognition of this kind seriously obstructs the fair settlement of conflict, aggravates the threat of war and deprives the population of NKR of the opportunity for peaceful life and chances for such an economic, social, cultural and political development, in case of which the human rights and basic liberties would be completely exercised.
- During the secession of union republics from the federal state the citizens of USSR ought not to have been deprived of the human rights and basic liberties including the right for self-determination as was recognized by the USSR in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Russian Federation, which is the legal successor of the USSR as concerns the protection of international rights and obligations, bears the political and legal responsibility for correction of the abuse of human rights of citizens of the former Union of SSR that is in effect so far.
- The principle of inviolability of all borders as recognized by the Union of SSR and other member states of CSCE / OSCE is not a political and legal basis for alienation or abridgement of the right for self-determination of the peoples that joined the multiethnic family of the Union of SSR. The member states of the Helsinki Final Act bear collective responsibility for recognition and correction of the contraventions of international law that impede so far the realization by these peoples of their right for self-determination and further an increasing threat of the renewal of hostilities as well.
Part 2. The Organization of Armenians from Azerbaijan SSR Fights for Restoration of their Rights
- The former citizens of the Union of SSR of Armenian descent, that had civil legal relations with the Azerbaijan SSR, unite in an independent struggle for restoration of their political, civil, economical, social and cultural rights.
- The Armenian refugees from the Azerbaijan SSR are indubitably entitled to an unimpeded return to their houses and the territories that were their birthplaces or domiciles without detriment to their security and dignity. They have a right for non-discrimination, adequate dwelling, peaceful seizin in law, private life and immunity of residence as well as for other inherent rights. They also have a right to be admitted to any place in their homeland and are entitled to take up their residence in the desired region on the territory of former Azerbaijan SSR that would be regarded by them as secure.
- The Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan SSR are indubitably entitled either to a reversion of housing, land ownership and the property alienated from them arbitrarily or illicitly, or to a recovery for housing, land ownership and the property that could not be actually returned. The Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan SSR made a considerable contribution to the development of the economy, science and culture of Azerbaijan. So, they are entitled to receiving compensation that is commensurate with their share in the public property of the Azerbaijan SSR. Being illegally deprived of the native land they have a right for a compensation proportional to the share in revenue obtained by the Azerbaijan Republic from production of national natural resources.
- The Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan have a right to restore the former places of residence or foundation of new towns and agrarian settlements. They have a right for necessary subsistence and must be permitted to make free use of the natural wealth and resources of the territory of community regardless of the status of territory and which state is presently exercising the jurisdiction over this territory.
- The Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan SSR have a right for a choice of citizenship in conformity with the norms of international Law. They are entitled to establish such a social order that would warrant the realization of their inherent rights and unhindered development. They are entitled for an efficient control of this social order and can independently manage their economic and cultural life in the domicile.
- The Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan SSR have a right for such an international order that would guarantee their peaceful and natural development. The legal status of native peoples in Azerbaijan do not fall within the exclusive competence of Azerbaijan Republic. The native peoples of Azerbaijan have ethnic, religious, spiritual, cultural, linguistic and historical relations to countries contiguous to Azerbaijan. These native peoples have a right to an international order such as to guarantee their political independence and autonomy required for maintenance and development of their distinct identities and basic human liberties in their domicile.
- The parties to the OSCE treaty bear collective responsibility for all-round observance of the principle of respect for human rights and basic liberties in the space of OSCE countries. The Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan SSR claim recognition of their inherent rights by all parties to the OSCE treaty and
regional states and make a request for rendering political, juridical and economic assistance for realization of their right to the return to homeland for independent development. The Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan SSR suppose that the desired political solution, determining their own destiny or infringing on their interests, may be adopted only when duly approved by them.
The Forum of Refugees from Azerbaijan SSR
Coordinator of the Forum of Refugees from Azerbaijan SSR
Mariam A. Avagyan