Shahumyan-Getashen Patriotic Union demands to include the issue of Northern Artsakh in the negotiations mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group, said today the president of the union Edik Balayan noting that otherwise in a few years it will be more difficult to raise the issue on our historical lands.
Balayan says that without the solution of the issue of Northern Artsakh, the issue of half a million Armenian refugees will never be solved. The union demands moral and material compensation from Azerbaijan for having displaced 500 thousand people from their homes. Though one of the regions of Artsakh is now called Shahumyan where refugees live these people want to go back to their homes.
Edik Balayan said that the Armenian villages of Shahumyan and Getashen regions are repopulated in accordance with a state plan of Azerbaijan, at the same time churches, cross-stones and cemeteries are destroyed. The union also demands a Minsk Group fact-finding mission to Azerbaijan to stop vandalism in the occupied Armenian lands. Exactly 20 years ago the Azerbaijani militants attacked Shahumyan region. 21 years ago they displaced the Armenian population of Getashen. Azerbaijan invaded 18 Armenian villages of Northern Artsakh and occupies them until now. It was the Koltso military action. Edik Balayan notes that Azerbaijan would have never succeeded to occupy the Armenian settlements without the help of the Soviet troops. The people of some villagers of Shahumyan and Getashen regions immigrated to Armenia, others left for other countries of the world. 300 civilians died during the fights.
In 2004, the Shahumyan-Getashen patriotic union appealed to the European Court of Human Rights to restore the property rights of the residents of these areas. The case has not been discussed yet. Edik Balayan says the reason is political since after the Armenian application the European Court turned to Azeris. As a result, seven residents of Lachin sued the Republic of Armenia.