March 01, 2007


Below is a translation of a news report from Arminfo that originally appeared in Russian on February 27th. It deals with the unresolved problems faced by residents of Kashatagh and the unwillingness of the responsible authorities to take the needed measures to rectify these issues.

Robert Simonyan, head of the Kashatagh non-governmental organization for the protection of resettlers, accuses the administration of the Kashatagh (Lachin) district of embezzlement.

Speaking to journalists, Robert Simonyan, who in 1990s was the head of the administration of five villages in the Kashatagh district, accused both the former and the current heads of the district administration, Aleksan Hakobyan and Hamlet Khachatryan, of pillaging Azerbaijani villages and embezzling funds they had been given to reconstruct the district.

The disagreement with the district administration over its policies resulted in Simonyan's persecution. A Yerevan resident, who had moved to Kashatagh, was forced to go back again, but he claims that his persecution did not stop there either.

Simonyan claims that he had repeatedly informed all possible instances in Armenia - from the president to foreign diplomatic corps - of the embezzlement by the district administration and the persecution of himself and family members, but has not received a reasonable answer.

Today, Simonyan made a statement describing the talk about a possible return of the liberated territories around the Nagorno-Karabagh Republic as a crime and treason.

"On the one hand, they speak of keeping the Lachin corridor under the Armenian control, but on the other hand, the local authorities and the Armenian leadership create such inhuman conditions that the resettlers run from those strategically important territories," Simonyan said. He said that while 15,000 people lived in Kashatagh in 1988, only 2,500 people now remained there. He also said that the residents of the border regions of Armenia - Ijevan, Tavush, Goris and Kapan - should be entitled to a compensation for the damage caused by Azerbaijan.

"In addition, we demand that the Armenian and the NKR authorities do their for both the protection of the NKR borders with Iran and opening of bilateral communication through it," the statement said.

(Lachin Photo by Onnik Krikorian)


At March 02, 2007, Anonymous Onnik Krikorian said...

Thanks for this post and not least for mention of the previous Governor. I was starting to get tired of hearing how migration away from Lachin was something new when it's been happening in my experience since 2001.

But you know how it goes. Journalists are friends to someone who's a friend of Hakobian and they say he was a pretty decent guy and so on even if Lachin residents were criticizing him too when he was in control.

Of course, the situation is worse now, and it can be said that the rate of out migration is increasing, but it is not a new phenomenon. Anyway, glad you posted the report which mentions both Hakobyan and Khachatryan.

Incidently, nice photo ;-)

Would have been nice to have been credited, though ;-)



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