Lachin district: 26 years of occupation

Lachin district: 26 years of occupation

Twenty-six years have passed since the occupation of Azerbaijan’s Lachin district by Armenia.

More than 300 servicemen and civilians were killed or missing during the occupation of the Lachin district.More than 77,000 citizens of Lachin became the internally displaced persons and live in other Azerbaijani regions, 

The occupation of Lachin, a region of great geostrategic significance, caused a serious damage to Azerbaijan’s economy. The invaders destroyed hundreds of cultural objects, historical monuments, settlements, and villages in Lachin. As many as 217 cultural, 101 educational and 142 health institutions, 462 trade objects and dozens of other facilities were plundered and demolished. 

More than 200 local historical monuments and 54 monuments of world importance became the object of Armenian vandalism. These included the Agoglan Albanian monastery of the 6th century, the Malik Ajdar tomb of the 14th century, a mosque in the Garagishlag village and an ancient cemetery in the Zabukh village.

The Lachin Historical Museum and an old collection of gold, silver and bronze coins were also looted. The exhibit of the museum – a bag of silver – was later sold for $80,000 at Sotheby's auction in London.

The European Court of Human Rights in the case Chiragov and others v. Armenia ruled in favour of Azerbaijani nationals who were forcibly displaced from the occupied Lachin district of Azerbaijan, recognizing continuing violations by Armenia of a number of their rights under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Of particular importance is the determination by the Court, in paragraphs 19-20, that the district of Lachin, in particular the town of Lachin, was under military attack; that in mid-May 1992, Lachin was subjected to aerial bombardment, in the course of which many houses were destroyed.

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