The Azerbaijani Armed Forces have deliberately
violated the internationally guaranteed right of economic activity of the citizens
of Republic of Armenia in Gegharkunik region.
In particular, the Human Rights Defender of
Armenia received a complaint from the director of a business company that the
servicemen of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces on November 25, 2012, under the
threat of war and in violation of international law, invaded the territory
allocated to them by a decree of the Government of the Republic of Armenia,
where they have been conducting business for 20 years, causing a loss of about
Based on the complaint, the Human Rights
Defender's Office uncovered that the Armenian Government by way of a decision
rendered in December 2012, issued to the company a legal registration in the
Republic of Armenia and provided it with a 200-hectare plot of land in the Sotk
mountain pass (Geghamasar community) of Gegharkunik region, signed a 30-year
lease agreement, and ensured these rights by way of a state registration of
said property rights. The land was provided for the construction and operation
of a wind power plant for electricity production. The company has built 2
windmills on 75 hectares of the referenced 200-hectare land.
Thereafter, the company's rights to the real
estate was registered in the Armenian Cadaster Committee. By the decision of
May 2018, the Public Services Regulatory Commission of the Republic of Armenia
issued a license for the production of electricity (capacity) to the company
until May 2039. In addition, the lease rights of the company registered in the
referenced area for energy production in the village of Sotk were extended
until April of 2048.
It can be stated that the allocation of 200
hectares of land is based on the Armenian Law on State Borders, including
taking into account the provision of the law, which refers to the Armenia’s state
border zone, which begins at the border and extends from the RA state border to
the depths of the Armenia’s inland territories.
After the September-November 2020 war, on
November 25, the Azerbaijani armed forces, with military equipment and armed
servicemen, suddenly invaded the company's territory under the threat of war,
and the company's employees were no longer able to enter, or gain access to the
Consequently, as set forth in the complaint
addressed to the Defender, the business company was deprived of the 200-hectare
land allotted to them in the village of Sotk, Geghamasar community, Geghamasar
region, 2 wind farms built on 75 hectares, all of which causing about
$5,000,000 (USD) in damage to the company. According to its already approved
program, the company plans to have a total of 23 windmills on the entire
200-hectare area, the studies of which have already been done. In other words,
the company was deprived of a particularly large sum of funds and lost profits,
as well as the opportunity to develop planned economic activities.
Apparently, as it turns out, the Azerbaijani
Armed Forces, by their deliberate actions and threats of force and use of
weapons, deprived Armenian businessmen of the right to engage in
internationally guaranteed economic activity. To be clear, these rights
infringed upon are enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia,
and are applicable to the territory allocated to them by the Armenian Government
on the basis of the Armenian Law on State Borders, pursuant to the relevant
approvals by the decisions of the Armenian bodies, independent of the
In addition to all of the aforementioned,
there are real threats to the lives, health, property and other vital rights of
the residents. The point of the matter is, that these areas were used for
pastures and hay, and now it has become impossible due to the targeting by the
Azerbaijani armed forces, which has caused serious problems for the residents
in terms of agriculture and, in particular, livestock.
Businessmen cannot approach the territory
allotted to them for legal activity. All this was confirmed to the RA Human
Rights Defender by the residents of Geghamasar community and its community
bodies; and, it was also confirmed during the visit of the delegation led by
the Republic of Armenia.
The Human Rights Defender's Office and the
Gegharkunik regional subdivision of the Defender’s Office. It is patently
obvious that as a direct consequence of these actions by the Azerbaijani armed
forces which took place under unambiguous threats of use of force, the
internationally guaranteed right to economic activity of Armenian citizens
enshrined in the Armenian Constitution, as well as well as other rights to use
of pastures and grasslands were violated.
The Office of the Human Rights Defender of
Armenia is currently summarizing the pertinent issues which will be presented
to the attention of international bodies, as well as to the Armenian state
bodies, including the Armenian representative to the European Court of Human
Rights, in connection with Armenia’s complaint against Azerbaijan to the ECHR.