June 28, 2021 - 10:46 AMT
Azerbaijanis threaten Armenian villagers, hamper harvest of hay

The Azerbaijani military servicemen have threatened residents of the village of Tegh in Armenia's Syunik Province with firearms in the sovereign territory of Armenia, not allowing them to gather the newly cut hay, Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan said on Sunday, June 27.

In particular, on June 26, several residents of Tegh village went to their property lands to collect the hay they had cut on June 23 and 24. When they were about 300 meters away from the Azerbaijani position stationed in the administrative territory of Tegh community, they noticed that 5 Azerbaijani armed servicemen were closing in on them shouting aggressively. Further approaching them, the troops aimed their weapons at the villagers and threatened them, shouting and not allowing them to collect the hay. Two of them were especially aggressive and demanded that the villagers stop coming to those areas altogether or try to use the lands.

The incident took place in a place called Andrun Stones, which is located at the intersection of Tegh, Aravus and Khnatsakh villages of Syunik province. The land us used by the residents of the three villages. There are both privately owned and community-owned lands. There are pastures used by the residents of these three villages to graze their cattle.

The villagers were able to collect the hay only on June 27, when the commanders of the 1st Army Corps of the Armenian Armed Forces, the heads of the local self-government bodies went to that place.

"This criminal act of the Azerbaijani servicemen against the citizens of the Armenia took place in the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. Obviously, such criminal acts of the Azerbaijani servicemen are aimed at depriving the citizens of the Republic of Armenia of other vital rights to life, such as engaging in cattle breeding, earning a family income. All this should be viewed on an ongoing basis, as they regularly commit similar acts (threats to shepherds, theft of animals, etc.) against residents of villages of both Gegharkunik and Syunik Provinces," Tatoyan said.

"This incident once again proves that protection of Armenia’s population from criminal actions of the Azerbaijani armed forces urgently require the creation of a security zone."