Human rights group Christian Solidarity International is launching a month-long social media campaign, entitled “The Cost of Silence,” on Tuesday, May 30, to highlight the growing threat of genocide faced by Armenian Christians in Nagorno Karabakh and the Republic of Armenia.
The campaign grew out of a fact-finding mission to southern Armenia in late March this year. A CSI team traveled to several villages on the tense Armenia-Azerbaijan border, where they were able to meet with Armenian families displaced from Karabakh by Azerbaijan’s 2020 invasion and ethnic cleansing campaign, as well as survivors of Azerbaijan’s 2022 assault on the Republic of Armenia.
The night before the CSI team arrived in the region, Azerbaijani forces occupied 110 hectares of Armenian farmland nearby. Two weeks after their visit, on April 11 the same villages they visited were bombarded by the Azerbaijani military.
“The Cost of Silence” seeks to share the stories of these Armenians with a wide audience. People who interact with the campaign will have the opportunity to sign a pledge of solidarity with Armenian Christians under attack, calling on their governments to do everything in their power to break Azerbaijan’s siege. They will also be directed to a range of advocacy resources to take action on behalf of the Armenians.
The region of Nagorno Karabakh, where 120,000 Armenian Christians live, has been under siege by the dictatorship of Azerbaijan since December 12. Azerbaijan has blocked the only road connecting the region to the Republic of Armenia, and thus to the rest of the world. It has also cut gas and electricity lines into the region. A humanitarian disaster is in the making.
In 2020, Azerbaijan launched a full-scale war against Nagorno Karabakh, killing thousands, driving tens of thousands of Armenians out of their homes, and committing numerous war crimes against civilians and captured soldiers. In September 2022, Azerbaijan launched a two-day assault on the Republic of Armenia itself.
Azerbaijan’s dictator, Ilham Aliyev, has referred to Armenians as “dogs,” “rats,” and “humanoid creatures,” and pledged to “drive them out of our lands” – which according to Aliyev, includes not only Nagorno Karabakh, but nearly all of the Republic of Armenia itself.
Christian Solidarity International (CSI) and other human rights organizations have issued a Genocide Warning for Armenian Christians in Nagorno Karabakh.
CSI’s campaign webpage for “The Cost of Silence” can be visited here.