120,000 Armenian Christians Are Trapped as Azerbaijan Takes Nagorno Karabakh
Christian Solidarity International , a Christian Human rights group urges Biden to initiate air rescue of endangered civilians.
Thousands of Armenians have taken shelter at Stepanakert Airport, hoping planes will come to evacuate them. Photo: Andranik Shirinyan
Today, Christian Solidarity International (CSI) can confirm, based on firsthand reports from partners on the ground, that thousands of Armenian Christians are now amassed at Nagorno Karabakh’s only airport, in the hope of being rescued by an international humanitarian airlift.
Others are hiding in cellars and the heavily wooded mountains as atrocity crimes cause mounting civilian deaths, injuries, displacement and trauma. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s shelling of Nagorno Karabakh’s capital Stepanakert and other towns and villages continues, despite announcements of a cease-fire yesterday.
Azerbaijan’s latest military assault caps a nine-month blockade to deny Nagorno Karabakh’s civilian population the necessities of life. This population is also terrorized by the memory of the beheadings, rapes and mutilations that accompanied Azerbaijan’s 2020 invasion and massacres of Armenians in Azerbaijan in 1988-1990.
This morning, CSI’s International President Dr. John Eibner urged President Joe Biden to propose a four-point emergency response at today’s UN Security Council meeting:
An immediate humanitarian airlift to evacuate trapped civilians to safe locations
The establishment of a cease-fire
The withdrawal of Azerbaijan’s military forces from the territory of the former autonomous republic of Nagorno Karabakh
Reaffirmation of Nagorno Karabakh’s right to self-determination as found in the US approved OSCE Madrid Principles.
CSI furthermore called on Biden to sanction Azerbaijan’s dictatorial President Ilham Aliyev and other architects, perpetrators and financers of Azerbaijan’s policy of ethnic-religious "cleansing".
Eibner reminded Biden that the United States has had ample notice of the forced deportation that is now unfolding in Nagorno Karabakh, starting with Genocide Watch Emergency Alerts in 2020, 2021, 2022, and a Genocide Warning issued by the Save Karabakh Coalition n December 2022.
These warnings were followed by two Genocide Emergency Alerts issued Genocide Watch in 2023, and a declaration of genocide by the first Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo.
On September 7, the Azerbaijani president’s spokesman declared menacingly in a Deutsche Welle interview that “a genocide may happen” should Nagorno Karabakh refuse to submit to Azerbaijan’s demands.
In conclusion, CSI's Eibner stated: “You were the first U.S. president to officially acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, thereby earning the gratitude of the Armenian people and all who abhor genocide. Let it not be said that, on your watch, Azerbaijan – a strategic partner of the United States – successfully executed another phase of the historic Armenian Genocide.”
Christian Solidarity International (CSI) is a Christian human rights organization promoting religious liberty and human dignity.