Memorial to Artsvashen. Photo: official website of Gegharkunik Region, http://gegharkunik.mtad.am/news/item/2012/08/09/arcvashen/

06 December 2017, 01:44

Over 100 people demand refugee status from Armenian authorities

On December 5, more than 100 persons from among former residents of Artsvashen village, which has been under Azerbaijani control for 25 years, held a protest action at the residence of Armenian President in Yerevan. They demanded to pay them compensations for the property lost during the Karabakh conflict in 1992. The protesters said that if the authorities did not want to support the villagers, then they demanded to provide them with the refugee status, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent reports.

According to one of the protesters, Artsvashen was an Armenian exclave amidst Azerbaijani settlements, but on August 8, 1992, during the Karabakh conflict, all the villagers, and at that time 2800 people lived there, were driven out of the village and settled near the border with Azerbaijan, in the town of Chambarak, Gegarkunik Region of Armenia. The villagers were not told that they left their homes forever.

According to settlers, the houses in Chambarak, where they were accommodated, are falling apart, but they have no money to repair them.

Since the time, when Artsvashen villagers left their homes, the government paid 350-400 thousand drams (719-822 US dollars) to each family. "Since then, no one talks about us," the protester said.

On December 5, the protesters were received by David Lokyan, the Minister of Territorial Administration and Development of Armenia, who promised to present the problem of Artsvashen villagers to President Serzh Sargsyan. In their turn, the protesters stated that should the problem were not settled in their favour, they will continue their protest actions.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Armine Martirosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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