Expert Opinion: Genocide against Armenians in 2023
By Luis Moreno Ocampo
New York, August 7, 2023
The blockade of the Lachin Corridor by the Azerbaijani security forces impeding access to any food, medical supplies, and other essentials to Nagorno-Karabakh is in the media since December 2022 and it is discussed by political leaders.
My contribution is to explain why it should be considered a Genocide against the ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh under Article II, (c) of the Genocide Convention: “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction.”
There are no crematories, and there are no machete attacks. Starvation is the invisible Genocide weapon. Without immediate dramatic change, this group of Armenians will be destroyed in a few weeks.
In many respects, the starvation of the ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh represents the archetype of genocide through the imposition of conditions of life designed to bring about a group’s destruction.¹ It closes a tragic circle because “[t]he treatment of the Armenians by the Turkish rulers in 1915 provides the paradigm for the Genocide provision dealing with imposition of conditions of life.”²
As an individual with some experience in the field, I was honored to make my contribution providing an impartial report and I am ready to assist any party committed to prevent the destruction of the Armenian group in Nagorno-Karabakh.
¹ Guénaël Mettraux, International Crimes and the Ad Hoc Tribunals (Oxford University Press 2006) 239–40.
² Schabas (n 24) 19. “These crimes have often been described as ‘deportations.’ But they went far beyond mere expulsion or transfer, because the deportation itself involved deprivation of fundamental human needs with the result that large numbers died of disease, malnutrition and exhaustion.” Ibid. (emphasis added).