October 13, 2023

Second Armenian Genocide is Underway

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by Uzay Bulut, Research Fellow

On 24 April 1915, approximately 250 leading intellectuals of Constantinople’s Armenian community (including political leaders, journalists, and religious leaders) were arrested by Turkish officials. They were then slain. This event marked the beginning of the 1915 Armenian genocide.

By 1923, Turkish deportation and annihilation policies resulted in the deaths of approximately 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children in jihad genocide during which Armenians and other Christians were targeted mainly for their religion.

108 years later, Azerbaijan and its ally Turkey have committed the same crime against the Armenians in the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).

Since 2020, around 120,000 Armenians in their ancestral homeland of Artsakh located in the South Caucasus were subjected to an aggressive war, siege starvation, bombardment, crimes against humanity, and a military invasion committed by Azerbaijan. Social media is filled with videos and photos of Armenian men and women that Muslim Azerbaijani soldiers beheaded or mutilated.

Just like Ottoman Turkey did in 1915, the government of Azerbaijan arrested the Armenian leaders of Artsakh following its September 19-20 bombardment and invasion of Artsakh.

The detained include:

Davit Babayan – former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Artsakh

Arkady Ghukasyan – former president of Artsakh Republic

Arayik Harutyunyan – former president of Artsakh Republic

Davit Ishkhanyan – chairman of the National Assembly of Artsakh Republic

Davit Manukyan – former deputy commander of the Artsakh Armed Forces, general

Levon Mnatsakanyan – former commander of the Defense Forces, general

Bako Sahakyan – former president of Artsakh Republic

Ruben Vardanyan – former State Minister of Artsakh Republic.

All former Artsakh presidents were elected by the people of Artsakh through a direct vote. The term “elected representatives of Nagorno Karabakh” is recorded in several documents of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The democratically elected representatives of Artsakh were arbitrarily and illegally detained by the regime of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, who took over from his father in 2003.

Azerbaijan’s presidential elections, in comparison, are neither free nor fair. In 2013, for instance, Aliyev released election results before voting had even started.