“Azerbaijan is a multinational state. “Thousands of Armenians live in different regions of Azerbaijan, first of all in Baku. They are our citizens,” Aliyev said. He presented this “fact” as proof that “after the return of Artsakh to Azerbaijan” the local civilian population will live in peace and security.
“That is why the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh should not worry. Once we save them from the criminal junta, they will live in better, safer conditions, and their well-being will be improved …,” Aliyev said.
The Fact Investigation Platform hereby presents evidence that proves that the statements of the President of Azerbaijan are manipulative and do not correspond to reality.
About the number of Armenians living in Azerbaijan
The allegations about thousands of Armenians living in Azerbaijan are not new. The authorities of that country regularly speak about tens of thousands of Armenians living in Baku. According to researcher Emil Sanamyan, there have been reports of 10 to 30 thousand Armenians living in Baku in different years, but there is no reason to believe in those numbers. Sanamyan notes that the crypto-Armenians left in Azerbaijan for one reason or another are mostly old women married to foreigners; they cannot disclose their Armenian origin. In an analytical article published in 2001, Azeri human rights activist Arif Yunusov, whose mother was Armenian, stated that, in reality, 2-3 thousand Armenians live in Azerbaijan.
Moreover, according to the 2009 census in Azerbaijan, 120,306 Armenians live in that country. However, this number is misleading, as the Statistical Committee of Azerbaijan also “counted” the population of Artsakh, which is not controlled by Azerbaijan. According to the same census, 120,089 Armenians live in the territory controlled by the Republic of Artsakh. That is, according to the official data of Azerbaijan, only 217 Armenians live in Azerbaijan, and about half of them (104) in the capital Baku.
Before the start of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, several hundred thousand Armenians lived in Azerbaijan. According to the 1979 Soviet census, 352,410 Armenians lived in Azerbaijan, not counting the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region. About 216,000 of them lived in Baku, 41,000 in Kirovabad (Ganja) and 14,000 in Sumgait.
The Armenians of Artsakh will not be safe in Azerbaijan
Although Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly stated that a safe, more prosperous life awaits the Armenians after the occupation of Artsakh by Azerbaijan, in fact the facts point to the opposite.
There were such examples both during the First Karabakh War and during the April 2016 war, and the war unleashed by Azerbaijan on September 27, 2020.
The first victims of the ongoing hostilities were civilians. An elderly woman and her 9-year-old granddaughter were killed in a rocket attack in Martuni on September 27. From the very first day, Azerbaijan has been shelling cities and civilian infrastructure.
The attitude of the Azerbaijani army towards the civilians became clear immediately after the humanitarian ceasefire agreed in Moscow on October 10. Members of an Azeri sabotage group that overran the city of Hadrut that day shot dead at least four civilians – Misha Movsisyan, his mother Anahit Movsisyan, Nver Grigoryan, and Artyom Mirzoyan.
Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Artsakh Artak Beglaryan posted on his Twitter page a photo of a disabled boy killed by Azeris in Hadrut.
“Look, they even shot the boy in the open palm, which he allegedly raised to show that he was unarmed in his house,” Beglaryan wrote.
According to the Artsakh Human Rights Defender’s Office, a total of 20 civilians were killed in Artsakh as of October 11, including 1 little girl, 7 women and 12 men.
The child, the five women and the four men were killed in the yards of their houses.
It is noteworthy that the casualties were reported as a result of the use of prohibited weapons and methods. Azerbaijan widely uses heavy and wide-range missiles and aircraft against the civilian population, some of which are cluster munitions.
Fip.am wrote in a separate article about the inhumane actions of the Azerbaijanis against the civilians and the military during the April 2016 war.
On the night of April 1, 2016, Azerbaijan launched a large-scale military operation against Artsakh. On the evening of April 3, Hetq newspaper and Photolure agency published shocking photos of the barbarity of Azerbaijani soldiers in the village of Talish. The Azeris killed Valera Khalapyan, who was not evacuated from the village, and his wife Razmela, as well as Valera Khalapyan’s 92-year-old mother, Marusya Khalapyan, tortured their bodies and cut off their ears.
Hence, Aliyev’s assertion that the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh should not worry and that the Azeris will provide them with a prosperous future is baseless. In fact, the recorded cases prove that Azerbaijan has adopted the policy of inhumane treatment of the civilian population.