CHAPTER 19 NAGORNO- KARABAKH’S RIGHTS ACCORDING TO INTERNATIONAL LAW

Since the February 1988 outburst of the Karabakh antagonism till the end of his life in late 1989 the physicist human rights activist and Nobel Prize winner Andrei Sakharov concentrated his attention on the Karabakh issue. In November 1989 he wrote;

” For Azerbaijan the issue of Karabakh is a matter of ambition, for the Armenians of Karabakh it is a matter of life and death”.1

He believed that the principle of national self-determination was a part of human rights and tried to conduct exceptionally a humanitarian policy. Still in 1960-ies on the dawn of his political activity Andrei Sakharov wrote;

“Our country has declared the right of self-determination to the point of seperation…. But there are no guarantees for that right. The problem needs juridical working out and guarantees for secession, which would have great internal and external importance”.2

As a result of the struggle for the right of national self-determination, the USSR confirmed and signed several important international documents concerning that right. As the Soviet jurist, professor Yuri Barseghov writes;

“Inter-ethnic relations, the ethnical-territorial seperation in particular, as the international experience shows, is one of the most difficult problems to solve. The search for a peaceful, democratic and lawful decision as a basis of territorial exploitation and division, has urged the humanity to accept the necessity of the principle of self-determination”.3

On the long way to the right of self-determination, the mankind passed fierce antagonisms, violence and massacres, deportation and destruction, abolishment and suppression of “weak” races.

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