On September 27th, 2020, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces launched a large-scale offensive against the Artsakh Republic (Nagorno-Karabakh), targeting the civilian population, peaceful settlements of Artsakh and Armenia, as well as civilian infrastructures. Martial law has been declared in Artsakh and Armenia.
Officials from Artsakh and Armenia, as well as numerous authoritative international media outlets, intelligence agencies of different countries and officials reported that mercenary terrorists transferred from Syria with the support of Turkey, also special units of the Turkish military were involved in the Azerbaijani armed forces. The large-scale aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan continues with the active encouragement and military-political support of Turkey.
The Azerbaijani Armed Forces use air force, armored vehicles, missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), as well as cluster missiles against civilians, which are prohibited by the provisions of all international conventions.
Azerbaijan’s aggression has resulted in dozens of civilian casualties, hundreds of injuries, as well as large-scale damage to public and private property. Journalists of both foreign and local media outlets were wounded in the shelling by the Azerbaijani armed forces.
In their reports, the Human Rights Ombudspersons of Artsakh and Armenia presented evidence of war crimes resulting from the attacks of Azerbaijan. Gross violations of international humanitarian law have been reported.
Despite the twice-declared humanitarian ceasefires and the calls of international organizations, the Azerbaijani armed forces violated the ceasefire and continued hostilities intending to deprive the people of Artsakh of their historical homeland by committing mass crimes. This war could lead to an ethnic cleansing and humanitarian crisis. The neutral and unaddressed positions of the international community are preparing the ground for further atrocities of Azerbaijan.
The sudden state of war made many people as well as members of the LGBT community more vulnerable, both physically and mentally. LGBT people did not refrain from hate speech, hostile attitude, and manipulative statements. Outraged by the neutral positions and inactivity of the international community, some members of the public targeted LGBT people, particularly members of the GBT community, urging to send the representatives of the LGBT community to the frontline, as they believe that only then will it be possible to receive an appropriate response from the international community. Most people who make such statements view the protection of the rights of LGBT people as a means of influencing international organizations and bodies. Despite numerous treacherous accusations and manipulative speculations, LGBT people are actively participating in military actions against Azerbaijani-Turkish aggression, many of them volunteered for military service and are now taking part in military operations in defense of our homeland.
In addition, “Pink” human rights defender NGO continues to direct its efforts to assist war-affected persons. Both Pink and the LGBT community are involved in volunteering. Some of the LGBT community collects food, clothing, basic necessities, medicine, and hygiene items for the displaced people. Also, a group of volunteers are involved in providing housing to families moved from Artsakh. Some specialists of the LGBT community provide psychological, social and legal advice, help our compatriots in Artsakh to receive medical care, find a job and etc.
LGBT people both living in Armenia and in Diaspora are actively involved in fundraising, raising a large amount of money for the Hayastan All Armenian Fund and other fundraising organizations.
To help the victims of the war and to restore or rebuild the civilian buildings destroyed by the war, Hayastan All Armenian Fund has opened an account, to which you can donate here: www.himnadram.org or www.armeniafund.org.
You can also make a donation to the Insurance Foundation for Servicemen, which aims to support killed or disabled servicemen, insure their families, and provide compensation. You can donate here: www.1000plus.am.