Azerbaijani Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) Sabina Aliyeva made a statement in connection with a protest action held by representatives of civil society and public activists on the Lachin-Shusha road, the Ombudsman's Office told Trend on December 13.
According to the statement, as a result of the 30-year policy of genocide, occupation, terrorism of Armenia on the basis of ethnic hatred towards Azerbaijan, serious damage was inflicted on nature, biological diversity, flora and fauna, water resources of the country, the ecosystem of the region, and an international environmental crime was committed.
"Extinction of endangered plants and animals, ending self-regulation of rivers and lakes has turned water bodies into a dead zone for all living things. For many years, the Okhchuchay River flowing through Armenia has been heavily polluted, which has affected negatively the Araz River, the second largest river in the South Caucasus. The ecological terror of Armenia against Azerbaijan continues to this day. Thus, the illicit exploitation of natural resources in the Azerbaijani territories of Russian peacekeepers' temporary deployment, particularly in the 'Gizilbulagh' gold deposit and the 'Damirli' copper-molybdenum deposit, entails serious environmental implications," the statement said.
The statement noted that a group of experts from the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, the State Property Service under the Ministry of Economy, and AzerGold CJSC were going to begin preliminary monitoring of the illicit mineral resource exploitation, as well as emerging environmental impacts on Azerbaijani lands, however, when arriving in the monitoring area, the expert team faced provocations. To protest this, the Azerbaijani civil society members, NGO representatives engaged in protecting environmental rights, public activists express their legitimate dissatisfaction with the situation, demanding the environmentalists' admission to the territory and suppression of environmental terror.
The ombudsman expresses support for the protesters, requires Armenia to stop the actions deteriorating Azerbaijan's environmental situation, as well as urges international institutions and NGOs to support this action.