Jan 061992
 

Considering the intrinsic right of nations to self-determination and being guided by the free will of the people of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic expressed at the Republican referendum on December 10, 1991;

Realizing responsibility for the destiny of the historical Motherland;

Being committed to the principles of the September 2, 1991 Declaration On Proclamation of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic;

Striving to normalize relations between the Armenian and Azerbaijani peoples;

Wishing to defend the population of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic from external attacks and physical extermination;

Developing free and democratic self-government experience that Nagorno Karabagh had in 1918-1920

Expressing readiness to establish equal and mutually beneficial relations with all states and commonwealth of states;

Respecting and being guided by the principles of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Concluding Document of the Vienna Meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and other universally recognized norms of international law;

The Supreme Council of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic asseverates the proclaimed independent statehood of the NKR

The Nagorno Karabagh Republic is an independent state that has its national flag, emblem and anthem. The Constitution and laws of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic as well as international legal documents regulating human rights and freedoms prevail on the whole territory of the Republic.

The bearer of sovereignty and the sole source of power in the Nagorno Karabagh are the people of the Republic who exercise their power and will through nationwide referenda or representative organs.

All the inhabitants of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic are citizens of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic. Double citizenship is allowed in the Nagorno Karabagh Republic. The citizens of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic are under the protection of the Republic. The Nagorno Karabagh Republic ensures rights and freedoms of its citizens irrespective of nationality, race and religion.

To protect and secure its citizens the Nagorno Karabagh Republic forms armed forces as well as forces protecting public order and state security. These forces are under the control of the leadership of the Republic. The citizens of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic do military service in the territory of the NKR. Citizens of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic can do military service in other countries and in the armed forces of foreign states stationed within the territory of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic in accordance with interstate treaties and agreements.

Being the subject if international law, the Nagorno Karabagh Republic conducts independent foreign policy, establishes direct relations with other states, partakes in the activities of international organizations.

The land, water and air space, natural, material and spiritual wealth belong to the people of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic. The procedure of utilization and ownership this wealth are regulated by laws of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic.

The basis of the NKR’s economy is the equality of all forms of property as well as equal opportunities for all the citizens of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic for full and free participation in economic life.

The Nagorno Karabagh Republic recognizes the supremacy of human rights, guarantees freedom of speech and conscience, political and public activity as well as all civil rights recognized by the international community. National minorities are under the protection of the state. The state structure of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic provides all possibilities for the full participation of national minorities in political, economic and spiritual life of the Republic. Any sorts of discrimination based on nationality, race or religion is prohibited by law
The Armenian language is the state language of the NKR. The Nagorno Karabagh Republic recognizes the right of national minorities to use their languages without any limitations in economic, cultural and educational spheres.

The Declaration on Proclamation of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights will serve as the basis for the Constitution and legislation of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic.

Stepanakert
January 6, 1992.


Source: Official website of the President of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic

Dec 101991
 

On September 10, 1991, a group of independent observers arrived in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic for observing the course of the referendum on the status of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

The observers worked in the town of Stepanakert, the Askeran, Hadrut, Martakert, Martuni, and Shahumian regions. The observers visited over 30 polling stations and observed the process of votes’ calculation.

The independent observers state that:

The preparation, conduction, and summing-up of the referendum were carried out in accordance with the “Temporary Provision on the Conduction of a Referendum in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic”. 81 polling districts were created in the NKR territory. The districts list and the addresses of the electoral commissions were published in “Soviet Karabakh” newspaper. The voters’ list comprised 132.328 citizens eligible to vote.

The question of the referendum was formulated as follows: “Do you accept that the proclaimed Nagorno Karabakh Republic be an independent state independently determining the forms of cooperation with other states and communities?” Continue reading »

Sep 021991
 

Joint session of the Nagorno Karabakh Oblast and Shahoumian regional councils of people’s deputies with the participation of deputies of councils of all levels

Expressing the will of people, in fact, fixed by a referendum and in the decisions of the NKAO and Shahoumian regional authorities in 1988-1991, its strive for freedom, independence, equality and good neighbourly relations;

ascertaining proclamation by the Azerbaijani Republic of the “restoration of 1918-1920 state independence”;

taking into consideration that the policy of apartheid and discrimination pursued in Azerbaijan created an atmosphere of hatred and intolerance in the Republic towards the Armenian people, which led to armed conflict, human victims, mass deportation of the population from peaceful Armenian villages;

being guided by the USSR acting Constitution and laws giving the population of autonomous units and compactly living ethnic groups the right to decide independently the issue of their state-legal status in case of a Soviet Republic’s secession from the USSR;

considering the Armenian people’s strive for unification natural and in line with the norms of international law;

striving for restoration of good neighbourly relations between Armenian and Azerbaijani peoples, based on mutual respect of each other’s rights;

taking into consideration the complexity and contradictoriness of the situation in the state, uncertainty of the Union’s future, Union’s structures of authority and governance;

respecting and following the principles of General Declaration on Human Rights and International Pact on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Pact on Civil, Political and Cultural Rights and with hope for international community’s understanding and support,

PROCLAIMS:

THE NAGORNO KARABAKH REPUBLIC WITHIN THE BORDERS OF THE CURRENT NAGORNO KARABAKH AUTONOMOUS OBLAST AND NEIGHBORING SHAHOUMIAN REGION. (Abr. NKR)

The Nagorno Karabakh Republic enjoys the authorities given to Republics by the USSR Constitution and legislation and reserves the right to decide independently the issue of its state-legal status based on political consultations and negotiations with the leadership of Union and Republics.

The USSR Constitution and legislation, as well as other laws currently in force, which do not contradict the goals and principles of this Declaration and peculiarities of the Republic apply on the territory of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, until the NKR Constitution and laws are adopted.

Joint Session of the Nagorno Karabakh Oblast 
and Shahumian regional councils of people’s deputies
with the participation of deputies of councils of all levels

September 2, 1991


Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic

May 171991
 

SRES 128 ATS

102d CONGRESS
1st Session
S. RES. 128

Condemning violence in Armenia.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
May 17 (legislative day, APRIL 25), 1991

Mr. LEVIN (for himself, Mr. DOLE, Mr. PRESSLER, Mr. PELL, Mr. SEYMOUR, Mr. SIMON, Mr. KASTEN, Mr. KENNEDY, Mr. SPECTER, Mr. SARBANES, Mr. WARNER, Mr. DECONCINI, Mr. RIEGLE, Mr. BRADLEY, and Mr. HELMS) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to


RESOLUTION

Condemning violence in Armenia.

Whereas the Government of the Soviet Union and Government of the Azerbaijan Republic have dramatically escalated their attacks against civilian Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, and Armenia itself;

Whereas the Government of the Soviet Union has refused Armenia’s request to convene a special session of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Supreme Soviet to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis;

Whereas Soviet and Azerbaijani forces have destroyed Armenian villages and depopulated Armenian areas in and around Nagorno-Karabakh in violation of internationally recognized human rights; and

Whereas armed militia threaten stability and peace in Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Azerbaijan: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that the Senate–

  1. condemns the attacks on innocent children, women, and men in Armenian areas and communities in and around Nagorno-Karabakh and in Armenia;
  2. condemns the indiscriminate use of force, including the shelling of civilian areas, on Armenia’s eastern and southern borders;
  3. calls for the end to the blockades and other uses of force and intimidation directed against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, and calls for the withdrawal of Soviet forces newly deployed for the purpose of intimidation;
  4. calls for dialogue among all parties involved as the only acceptable route to achieving a lasting resolution of the conflict; and
  5. reconfirms the commitment of the United States to the success of democracy and self-determination in the Soviet Union and its various republics, by expressing its deep concern about any Soviet action of retribution, intimidation, or leverage against those Republics and regions which have chosen to seek the fulfillment of their political aspirations.

Source: THOMAS (Library of Congress)

May 161991
 

The European Parliament,

A. deploring the continual aggravation of violence in the Caucasus, particularly against Armenians in the autonomous region of Karabakh, an enclave within Azerbaijan,

B. whereas the most recent interventions by the Soviet army, instead of attempting to prevent further bloodshed, caused many casualties among the civilian population, and whereas this intervention combined with increased pressure from the Azerbaijanis, led to a large proportion of the population leaving Nagorno-Karabakh to take refuge in the Republic of Armenia,

C. respecting the decisions which will be taken independently by the people of the Soviet Union to determine their future, the state of their relations, and the destiny of their union,

D. recalling its earlier resolutions on this subject,

 

1. Condemns unequivocally the violence by the Soviet armed forces and the ‘Azerbaijani forces’ which has once more been inflicted on the Armenian population in Karabakh and Armenia;

2. Formally calls on the Soviet and Azerbaijani authorities to put an immediate stop to these acts of violence;

3. Urges the Soviet authorities to implement measures guaranteeing the following for Karabakh Armenians:

— physical safety,

— freedom of movement to Armenia,

— the raising of the blockade by Azerbaijan,

— the return of people driven away from their homes;

4. Supports all efforts aimed at finding a political settlement to the problems of Nagorno-Karabakh and the various national groups in the region, in compliance with human rights standards;

5. Calls on the central authorities of the Soviet Union to refrain from all acts of intimidation and from obstructing the planned referendum on the future of Armenia itself;

6. Calls on the populations affected by the tension to make a major effort to embrace peaceful coexistence and cooperation between persons belonging to different ethnic, cultural and religious groups;

7. Warns the Soviet Government that, under the conditions of the Paris Charter for a New Europe, the Community and its Member States cannot be indifferent to the brutal suppression of human rights in part of the USSR;

8. Instructs its Enlarged Bureau to consider whether it would be appropriate to send a representative delegation from the EP to the region;

9. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, European Political Cooperation, the Government of the USSR and the Governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan.


Source: Joint resolution replacing B3-0747, 0754, 0767, 0781, 0795, 0816, 0824 and 0827/91 [17.6.91 Official Journal of the European Communities No C 158/243]

File: European Parliament Joint resolution replacing B3-0747, 0754, 0767, 0781, 0795, 0816, 0824 and 0827/91

Mar 141991
 

The European Parliament,

  1. whereas the inhabitants of Nagorno-Karabakh have been calling on the central authorities of the USSR for a just solution to the question of their region since February 1988,
  2. whereas, as a consequence of the decision by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on 28 November 1989, the state of emergency imposed by the military governor of this region has entailed the removal of all the legitimate authorities and continual violations of human rights, such as arbitrary arrests, censorship and deportations,
  3. whereas the referendum of 17 March 1991 — which Armenia has decided to boycott — will not provide a solution to the Karabakh problem, which calls for a special referendum of a different kind enabling the national groups in this region to exercise their right to self-determination;
  4. whereas the blockade afflicting Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, which is sometimes suspended only to be subsequently re-imposed more severely, is raising the tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia to breaking point,
  5. whereas the 300 000 Armenians who have fled from Azerbaijan (Baku and Sumgait massacres) to Armenia are in a state of complete destitution and require urgent aid,
  6. whereas the shortage of energy, and in particular gas, currently affecting Armenia as a result of the blockade has given rise to serious problems in that republic, including the closure of factories, unemployment and paralysis of the transport system,
  7. whereas as a result of the earthquake and the massacres of Armenians in Azerbaijan more than 500 000 people are now faced with extreme hardship, unable to obtain heating at a time when the temperatures in the region could be falling to 25° below zero,
  1. Calls on President Gorbachev to take urgent and effective steps to bring an end once and for all to the intermittent blockades affecting Armenia and Karabakh and to the threats to the security of the national groups in Karabakh and the neighbouring Armenian enclaves who are seemingly being deliberately forced out;
  2. Calls on President Gorbachev to restore to office the legitimate and constitutional political authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh;
  3. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Government of the Soviet Union.

Source: Resolution B3-0473/91 [22.4.91 Official Journal of the European Communities No C 106/121]

File: European Parliament Resolution B3-0473/91

Sep 271990
 

(This is a joint initiative of the Helsinki Treaty Watchdog Committee of France and intellectuals from the College International de Philosophie, Paris.)

An era which we all thought had ended, the era of pogroms, has resurfaced. Once again this year, the Armenian community of Azerbaijan has been the victim of atrocious and intolerable premeditated massacres.

As scholars, writers, scientists, political leaders and artists we wish, first of all, to express our profound indignation over such barbaric acts, which we wanted to believe belonged to humanity’s past.

We intend this statement as more than an after-the-fact condemnation. We want to alert international public opinion to the continuing danger that racism represents to the future of humanity. It forebodes ill that we are experiencing the same powerlessness when faced with such flagrant violations of human rights a half century after the genocide of the Jewish people in Nazi concentration camps and forty years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It would be inexcusable if, because of our silence now, we contributed to the suffering of new victims.

The situation of Armenians in the Caucasus is, in fact, too serious for us to remain silent. There are moments when we must assume the moral obligation to assist a people in peril. Our sense of obligation leads us today to appeal to the international community and to public opinion.

More than two years ago, active persecution against Armenians began in Azerbaijan. The pogroms of Sumgait in February, 1988 were followed by massacres in Kirovapat and Baku in November 1988. As recently as January 1990, the pogroms continued in Baku and other parts of Azerbaijan. The mere fact that these pogroms were repeated and the fact that they followed the same pattern lead us to think that these tragic events are not accidents or spontaneous outbursts.

Rather, we are compelled to recognize that crimes against the Armenian minority have become consistent practice—if not official policy—in Soviet Azerbaijan. According to the late Andrei Sakharov (New York Times, November 26, 1988), these pogroms constitute “a real threat of extermination” to the indigenous Armenian community in Azerbaijan and in the autonomous region of Mountainous Karabagh, whose inhabitants are 80 percent Armenian.

Horror has not limits, especially when we remember that the threat is against Armenian people who in 1915 paid dearly for their right to be different in the Ottoman Empire. There, Armenians lost half their population to genocide, the worst consequence of racism. Furthermore, if the recent pogroms have revived nightmares of extermination not yet overcome, the current total blockade of Armenia and Mountainous Karabagh and 85 percent of those into Armenia pass through Azerbaijan; it would not be an exaggeration to maintain that such a blockade amounts to the strangulation of Armenia. In a land devastated by the earthquake of December 7, 1988, the blockade has paralyzed the economy and dealt a mortal blow to the reconstruction efforts.

It is our sincere hope that perestroika will succeed. But we also hope for the success of glasnost and democratization. We recognize that the passage from a totalitarian state to a rule of law can not be achieved overnight. It is nonetheless necessary that in the process of transition, the government of the Soviet Union promote, legalize and institutionalize such critical forces for democracy as human rights, the principle of toleration, and democratic movements. There is no better defense and demonstration of democracy. At any rate, that is the only way to avoid the worst. In the case of a multinational state, the worst may mean threats to the right of a people or a minority to exist. It is during periods of transition and uncertainty that rights of peoples—today Armenians, tomorrow another people or minority—are threatened or denied. In this respect, the ease with which we see today the development in the USSR of racist movements, especially the anti-Semitic movement know as Pamyat, is for us cause for grave concern.

In the name of our duty of vigilance, we demand that Soviet authorities as well as the international community condemn unequivocally these anti-Armenian pogroms and that they denounce especially the racist ideology which has been used by the perpetrators of these crimes as justification.

We ask from the Soviet authorities and the international community that all necessary measures be taken immediately to ensure the protection and security of Armenians in the Caucasus and other parts of the Soviet Union. This can begin by bringing about a definitive lifting of the Azerbaijani blockade.

It should be clear that the forceful deportation of Armenians is not the solution to the problem of Mountainous Karabagh which, in essence, is a problem of human rights.

Because the genocide of 1915 began with pogroms and massive deportations, and because that painful memory still endures, Armenia lives today in anguish and despair.

It is in such circumstances that the international community of states under the rule of law must prove the authenticity of its commitment to human rights in order to ensure that, due to indifference and silence bordering on complicity, a second genocide does not occur.

David Aaron (Trustee, International League for Human Rights)
Sir Isaiah Berlin (All Souls College, Oxford)
William M. Chace (President of Wesleyan University)
Jacques Derrida (Philosophy, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris)
Luc Ferry (Philosophy, University of Rennes)
Alain Finkelkraut (Philosophy, Paris)
Hans-Georg Gadamer (Philosophy, University of Heidelberg)
André Glucksmann (Philosophy, Paris)
Vartan Gregorian (History, Brown University)
Jürgen Habermas (Philosophy, University of Frankfurt)
Agnes Heller (Philosophy, The New School for Social Research)
Benjamin L. Hooks (Executive Director, NAACP)
Leszek Kolakowski (Philosophy, All Souls College, Oxford)
Emmanuel Levinas (Philosophy, University of Paris IV, Sorbonne)
Adrian Lyttelton (History, Johns Hopkins Center for International Studies)
Jacques Poulain (Philosophy, University of Paris VIII)
Hilary Putnam (Boston)
Paul Ricoeur (Philosophy, University of Paris/Nanterre)
Richard Rorty (Philosophy, University of North Carolina)
Jerome J. Shestack (Chairman, International League for Human Rights)
Charles Taylor (Philosophy & Political Science, McGill University, Montreal)
Reiner Wiehl (Philosophy, University of Heidelberg)
Reginald E. Zelnick (Professor of History, University of California at Berkeley)
and 110 others


Source: New York Times

Sep 011990
 

“The Sumgait Tragedy: Pogroms Against Armenians in Soviet Azerbaijan (Volume I, Eyewitness Accounts)”

By the ZORYAN INSTITUTE
Edited by: Samyel SHAHMURATIAN

For three days in February, 1988, the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait became the arena of pogroms against the Armenians of the city. The Sumgait tragedy was a brutal, organized attempt to block a political solution to the peaceful demands of the Armenians of Mountainous Karabagh for self-determination. These events marked the beginning of a premeditated plan to depopulate Azerbaijan of Armenians, and eventually of Russians and Jews.
The Sumgait Tragedy: Pogroms Against Armenians in Soviet Azerbaijan (Volume I, Eyewitness Accounts) is a compilation of 36 interviews conducted by Armenian journalist Samvel Shahmuratian with 45 of the Sumgait survivors. These testimonies give painful answers to critical questions? What happened in Sumgait? Why was the impending slaughter not averted? Why did measures to halt the massacres come too late? Why did the events not receive complete analysis and coverage by the mass media, the government, and judicial bodies? The answers to these questions come from the victims themselves, in halting painful narratives. Maps included.

Source: Zoryan Institute

Apr 031990
 

UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS
LAW
CONCERNING THE PROCEDURE OF SECESSION OF A SOVIET REPUBLIC FROM THE USSR

 

Article 1.
The procedure of secession of a Soviet Republic from the USSR is conducted in accordance with the Article 72 of the Constitution of the USSR under the present Law. Continue reading »

Mar 151990
 

The European Parliament,

A. having regard to the serious humanitarian and economic situation in Armenia following the earthquake in 1988,

B. concerned at information from Soviet opposition groups showing that 500 000 people in Armenia are homeless and some 100 000 Armenians are travelling the Soviet Union in search of homes and jobs,

C. dismayed that a large proportion of the aid destined for the suffering Armenians has failed to reach them,

D. concerned at the human rights situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, which is administered by Azerbaijan against the will of the majority of its inhabitants, more than 75% of whom are Armenians, and at the continuing violence in Azerbaijan,

 

1. Calls on the Commission and the Foreign Ministers meeting in EPC to urge the Soviet government to improve the humanitarian and economic situation in Armenia and to request the Soviet government to seek a peaceful solution for Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh and elsewhere in Azerbaijan;

2. Calls on the United Nations to take a more active role with regard to the problem of refugees and homelessness in Armenia;

3. Resolves to send a small delegation to Armenia and Azerbaijan to report to Parliament and the European public on the situation of the Armenians;

4. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Foreign Ministers meeting in EPC, the governments of the Member States and the government of the Soviet Union.


Source: Resolution B3-556/90 [17.4.90 Official Journal of the European Communities No C 96/260]

File: European Parliament Resolution B3-556/90