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Amnesty International: Nagorno-Karabakh conflict caused decades of misery for older people.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory has caused decades of misery for older people, Amnesty International said in two new reports published recently.

The conflict - first fought from 1988 to 1994, and then during another escalation in late 2020 - saw older people unlawfully killed, tortured, and forcibly displaced; abuses which have marked their lives ever since.

“The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh highlights the unique risks that older people face in armed conflicts. Often the last to flee, they also suffer the consequences of war for decades on end,” said Laura Mills, Researcher on Older People with Amnesty International’s Crisis Response team. “In both Armenia and Azerbaijan, older people have struggled to rebuild their lives in displacement – yet their loss of independence and dignity is treated as inevitable or irrelevant.”

In the situation where tensions are high and further conflict is still possible, she called on both Armenian and Azerbaijani authorities to make clear and firm commitments to prioritize the protection of older people, and ensure their human rights, including rights to housing and health, are protected.

The first report documents how older ethnic Armenians were disproportionately subjected to violence in the recent conflict, including war crimes such as extrajudicial executions, as well as torture and other ill-treatment while in Azerbaijani detention.

The second report details the suffering experienced by older Azerbaijanis who were forced from their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts during the first conflict.

The full text of the first report is available here.

The full text of the second report is available here.