Joint Statement

(263 independent students & 10 organizations from Europe)


Official Letter to the European Students’ Union regarding their Statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan


Dear European Students’ Union Executive Committee,

We, as Azerbaijani students in the EU and alumni in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, express our concern about your official statement regarding Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Aside from the misinformation contained in above-mentioned statement, we all know and strongly believe that European Students’ Union is a diverse, democratic and open-minded umbrella organization, aim of which is to represent and promote the educational, social, economic and cultural interests of students at the European level, at least this is the information given according to ESU’s official site and social media accounts and its statements. We are very disappointed that an organization, mission of which is to protect the rights of students, which is open to all students, regardless of political persuasion, religion, ethnic or cultural origin, sexual orientation or social standing, violates its aims and principles, its objectivity by sharing a statement that contains information without any factual basis on such a sensitive topic.

We would like to point out the misleading content in the statement. We will share some points with you which are confirmed by the whole world and international law:

  • Between 1988-1994 Armenia occupied 20% of the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan and ethnically cleansed approximately 800,000 Azerbaijanis from those areas. Armenia occupied not only the territory of former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO), the status of which Armenia tried to dispute, but also seven additional seven adjacent districts outside NKAO (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan). In order for “executing the right for selfdetermination” of 140 thousand ethnic Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia evicted 700 thousands Azerbaijanis from their homes, and causing them to slowly perish in camps and other temporary shelters for around 30 years. Four UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874, and 884) adopted in 1993 demanded immediate, complete, and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.These resolutions were renewed by the UN in 2008, again demanding the withdrawal of all armenian forces and reaffirming the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
  • Azerbaijan was loyal to peace process for three decades that were based on Madrid Principles proposed by the Minsk Group of OSCE to settle Nagorno Karabakh conflict. The principles consisted of returning the seven districts around Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani control, providing NagornoKarabakh with an interim status, returning all refugees and displaced people to their former places of residence etc. However, the peace process got into stalemate following open and unilateral rejection of Madrid Principles by current Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan who came into power in 2018. Nikol Pashinyan’s and his government’s nationalist rhetoric, militarism and populism eventually caused a new war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Davit Tonoyan, defense minister of Armenia had declared in front of the Armenian community in New York: “As the minister of defense, I announce that this [old] format, territories [in exchange] for peace, I have rephrased it. We are doing the opposite – a new war for new territories.” This threatening speech anticipated new military provocations by Armenia to seize new territories at the expense of Azerbaijan. The statement indeed followed with the military hostilities in July in northwest Tovuz region of Azerbaijan, away from Nagorno-Karabakh, at immediate border of Armenia and Azerbaijan which was peaceful for three decades. Pashinyan’s statement in August 2019 that “Nagorno-Karabakh is Armenia, and that is all.” was final blow to peace process and a rejection of the OSCE’s Madrid Principles, according to which the territories’ final status would be the product of negotiations.
  • After the ethnic cleansing Azerbaijanis from these territories, many historical monuments were destroyed, turned into ruins in the occupied territories. have been turned into ruins. In the letter it is mentioned, “We believe that this can give students from both countries opportunities to learn to live AZSAB.ORG [email protected] together in a democratic and multicultural society…” How can Armenia, a mono-ethnic country whose population is almost 99 percent Armenian, can judge about tolerance? Unlike Armenia, there are 30,000 Armenians living in Azerbaijan today along with hundreds of thousands of other ethnic minorities. Armenia is currently trying to turn this war into a religious issue and describe it as a Muslim-Christian conflict. The current state of demolition and desecration of mosques in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan shows the complete opposite. Despite this, the Armenian church is well-maintained and still operates in the center of our capital city, Baku. Azerbaijan has been inhabited by representatives of different religions and cultures throughout history, demonstrating a deep heritage of coexistence among different religions. You can see the attached examples to this mail.
  • Today’s war is going on within internationally recognized Azerbaijani borders for returning territories of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani army by using its self-defense right and fighting to restore the peace in the region. Indeed, as mentioned in the letter, it is the bloodiest war in the last decade. Azerbaijan was mentioned as an aggressor in the paper. Let’s look at the simple statistics:As a result of shelling Azerbaijani civilians outside the conflict zone (Ganja – two times, Barda, Minghachevir, Tartar, Aghdam and other densely populated cities) from the territory of Armenia with ballistic missiles 91 civilians were killed and 405 civilians were injured including 1 infant, 11 children, 27 women and the old. Any direct attack against a civilian or civilian object is not only a violation of International Humanitarian Law but also a grave breach. Direct attacks against civilians and/or civilians objects are categorised as war crimes. We have to make clear that these regions do not belong to the Nagorno-Karabakh territory and by attacking these regions, Armenia illegally expands the scope of military operations. The Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch confirmed the first banned clusters used by Armenia targeting Azerbaijani civilians. If you really care about human rights and civilians from both countries and want to keep “neutrality”, you should have mentioned war crimes against Azerbaijani civilians committed by Armenia starting from 27th September, instead of falsely accusing Azerbaijan.Please pay attention to the Statements of The Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch about the use of banned clusters by Armenia against Azerbaijani civilians.
  • The Statement builds on dubious allegations about the deployment of Syrian fighters in Azerbaijan, without any proof. Staged video recordings of interrogation of such mercenaries don’t stand any criticism. Instead, the Armenian political leadership made clear on numerous occasions that Armenian fighters from various countries, including from the Middle East are deployed in the conflict zone. An ethnically Armenian while being the national of a different country is clearly considered to be mercenary under international law if he takes part in a conflict on the territory of a foreign country. Can ESU provide us with any official and reliable sources as a proof of these claims against Azerbaijan?
  • Turkey does support Azerbaijan politically but so does Israel, Georgia, Ukraine, etc. However, claiming Turkey’s military support has no grounds because those who have such claims have not presented any evidence to support this claim. It is a shame to even add some fake news shared by Armenia government in your official letter. This goes against the EU university standards where no claim should be made without a reputable reference.
  • Quote from the letter “Institutions and media in Azerbaijan have continued using hate speech against Armenia” – again false. Recently, two extremist nationalists have been convicted for hate speech against Armenians. Of course, we condemn hateful speech against any of our minorities. However, despite the fact that there are thousands of Azerbaijani families who lost their family members between 1988-1994 during the most brutal war committed by Armenia, the majority of the population condemn hate speech and this is not common and forbidden by the Azerbaijani government.

It is ironic when Armenia calls for peace while ethnically cleaning nearly 1 million internally displaced Azerbaijanis from their homes, turning the occupied region into ruins, and rejecting the peaceful work of 27 years led by the International groups. Azerbaijan has always been and today is supporting a peaceful solution to restore peace and its internationally recognized borders.

By issuing a statement based on absurd arguments, which is not supported by any international organization or an institute, the European Students’ Union loses its validity to speak on behalf of millions of students. The one-sided statement of this organization leaves us no other choice but to assume that it serves to the sole goal of disguising the illegal acts and war crimes committed by Armenian leadership and the military, which continues its vicious attacks against the civilian population of Azerbaijan, located far away from the conflict zone. It is worth reiterating that more than 91 Azerbaijani civilians were killed, and hundreds were wounded. Though these stats outnumber those in Armenia by far, we stress that the Azerbaijani students deplore any loss of civilians from both sides. But this is probably not in the interest of the ESU to base its statement on the real facts, but rather talk about the Armenian nonsense. When you address such a large audience, it is unacceptable for you to share misinformation with people and not realize this serious responsibility. If you want to restore the peace in the region, firstly, you have to research what international law is saying about this conflict and you need to know all facts from both countries’ sides. This is the only way to keep neutrality.

While checking European Students’ Union representatives, we found out that Gohar Hovhannisyan (Armenian) is leading the European Students’ Union. It is unfortunate if she is using her power to mislead the European Students’ community with this letter where the main points of the conflict are being hidden and claiming false information without pointing any reputable source. All Board members of this Union, including Gohar Hovhannisyan must know that when leading such an influential organization, everyone must be able to distinguish between subjective and biased opinions and work, this is what we call Professionalism.

Once again we inform that this is disrespectful not only to the students, but to the whole Azerbaijani people. We urge you to take further actions immediately in order to stop the abuse of power by Ms.Hovhannisyan, the spread of misleading information. We demand that the ESU withdraws its misleading statement and apologizes to all students of Azerbaijan for this biased approach. We also demand all organizations who seconded this statement to apologize especially before IDPs of Azerbaijan for the pain and insult caused by this statement.

We inform you that this issue will be raised before the European institutions, which act as your donors so that all those responsible for such an unlawful and derogatory statement are held accountable for this misdeed.

Proposed by: AzSAB – Azerbaijani Students & Alumni of BeNeLux.

Seconded by: ASB & AHB from Spain, MAS & BAS from the UK, SANA from Sweden, ASCE MTU from Estonia, European Law Students’ Association Alumni Society in Azerbaijan, Erasmus Student Network Alumni Society in Azerbaijan, AEGEE-European Students’ Forum Alumni Society in Azerbaijan and ASYOU.

The list of signatures of Azerbaijani Students and Alumni of Europe:

  1. Agshin Garayev
  2. Aisha Atamaliyeva
  3. Ali Gadziev
  4. Ali Hasanov
  5. Aliabbas Shukurlu
  6. Alish Najafzade
  7. Alishan Karimov
  8. Anar Alizade
  9. Anna Kantsemal
  10. Arslan Abdulla
  11. Arzu Aliyeva
  12. Asmar Abdullayeva
  13. Asmar Bayramova
  14. Aydan Alakbarova
  15. Aydan Behbudova
  16. Aydan Islamova
  17. Aydan Sadigova
  18. Aysel Abdulzade
  19. Aysel Gurbanzade
  20. Aysel Mehdiyeva
  21. Aysha Hasanova
  22. Ayshan Yariyeva
  23. Aytac Hasanova
  24. Aytaj Tamirova
  25. Aytaj Yusifova
  26. Aytan Hajiyeva
  27. Aytan Mammadova
  28. Ayten Sultanli
  29. Aytən Novruzova
  30. Azima Teyyubova
  31. Bakhtiyar Garashov
  32. Banovsha Habibova
  33. Banovshə Ahmadova
  34. Bayram Bakhshaliyev
  35. Bayram Orujov
  36. Chinara Ganbarova
  37. Chinara Shukurova
  38. Chingiz Mammadli
  39. Davud Shikhmammadli
  40. Dilafruz Yusifzada
  41. Elchin Latifli
  42. Eldar Mustafaoghlu
  43. Elmikhan Mammadov
  44. Elnara Rafizada
  45. Elnur Hajiyev
  46. Elnur Valikhanli
  47. Elshan Gurbanov
  48. Elvin Abbasli
  49. Elvin Abdullayev
  50. Elvin Mammadli
  51. Elvin Mammadzada
  52. Emin Ahmadli
  53. Esmira Babazade
  54. Esmira Isgenderova
  55. Ezel Rustamova
  56. Farahim Suleymanli
  57. Farhad Huseynov
  58. Farid Gasimov
  59. Farida Mustafazade
  60. Fatima Bayramova
  61. Fatima Hamidova
  62. Fatima Shukurlu
  63. Fazila Ismayilova
  64. Fazila Pashayeva
  65. Fidan Adishli
  66. Fidan Algayeva
  67. Fidan Aslanova
  68. Fidan Bayramova
  69. Fidan Mammadova
  70. Fidan Rahimli
  71. Fidan Taghizada
  72. Fuad Budagov
  73. Gabriella Quliyeva
  74. Gismat Ahadov
  75. Gulagha Gozalov
  76. Gulgun Farziyeva
  77. Gulgun Mammadli
  78. Gulkhanim Abishova
  79. Gulnar Alizade
  80. Gulnar Hajiyeva
  81. Gulnar Mammadova
  82. Gulnar Velijeva
  83. Gulshah Babayeva
  84. Gulshan Muslumzade
  85. Gulsum Alihuseynova
  86. Gultaj Ibrahimova
  87. Gunay Bayramova
  88. Gunel Hasanzade
  89. Gunel Mammadova
  90. Gunel Mirzazada
  91. Gunel Zeynalova
  92. Gurban Abbasov
  93. Hafiz Valizada
  94. Hajarnur Pashayeva
  95. Heidar Huseynov
  96. Hijran Musayeva
  97. Hikmat Hasanov
  98. Hokuma Mammadzada
  99. Humay Khalilli
  100. Huseyn Mashadiyev
  101. Ibrahim Azimov
  102. İbrahim Huseynov
  103. Ibrahim Mammadov
  104. Ilaha Bakhshaliyeva
  105. Ilaha Guliyeva
  106. Ilyas Alizada
  107. Ismayil Aghahasanli
  108. Ismayil Aliyev
  109. İsmayil Mammadov
  110. Ismayil Tahmazov
  111. Jala Tahirova
  112. Jalal Sadigli
  113. Jamil Ismayilzada
  114. Javid Abdullayev
  115. Javid Aslanli
  116. Jeyhun Babashov
  117. Jeyla Samedzade
  118. Kamala Samadova
  119. Kamran Rahimov
  120. Khayala Agaverdiyeva
  121. Khoshgadam Allahverdiyeva
  122. Lala Mustafazade
  123. Lalazar Hamidova
  124. Lale Sariyeva
  125. Laman Gudratova
  126. Lamiya Mahmudova
  127. Leman Humbatova
  128. Leyla Baghirli
  129. Leyla Rahimli
  130. Madina Hasanli
  131. Mahbuba Jafarova
  132. Mahir Huseyov
  133. Majnun Abdurahmanov
  134. Maleyka Alizade
  135. Maryam Ismayilzada
  136. Matin Karimov
  137. Mikayil Isgandarov
  138. Mirniyaz Mahmudlu
  139. Murad Aslanli
  140. Murad Babayev
  141. Musa Suleymanov
  142. Mustafa Cəbrayılov
  143. Nahida Mamishova
  144. Nargiz Bakhishova
  145. Nargiz Kazimova
  146. Nargiz Mirzayeva
  147. Nargiz Umudova
  148. Narmin Mammadli
  149. Narmin Mehtiyeva
  150. Narmina Baghirova
  151. Narmina Karimova
  152. Natavan Ahmadova
  153. Natavan Ismayilzada
  154. Natavan Zeynalova
  155. Nazrin Gasimova
  156. Nazrin Najafzade
  157. Nigar Ahmadli
  158. Nigar Mir-Babayeva
  159. Nigar Muradkhanli
  160. Nigar Nebiyeva
  161. Nigar Shukurova
  162. Nihad Guliyev
  163. Nijat Jafarli
  164. Nijat Mammadbayli
  165. Novruz Mamishov
  166. Nuray Haqverdiyeva
  167. Nuray Haqverdiyeva
  168. Nurjan Khalilzada
  169. Nurlan Abdullayev
  170. Nurlan Kerimov
  171. Nurlan Mikayilov
  172. Orkhan Aliyev
  173. Orkhan Gasimov
  174. Orkhan Rustamov
  175. Pakiza Hajiyeva
  176. Parviz Hajiyev
  177. Pinar Majidova
  178. Polad Mahmudov
  179. Rahida Mammadli
  180. Rahil Mammadov
  181. Rahim Heydarov
  182. Rahim Huseyinsoy
  183. Ramil Namazov
  184. Ramil Pashayev
  185. Ramin İmamquliyev
  186. Rashid Mechtijev
  187. Rasul Agharzayev
  188. Ravid Nahmatov
  189. Ravid Taghiyev
  190. Rima Mammadova
  191. Rovshana Aliyeva
  192. Rugiyya Abdullayeva
  193. Ruhiyya Suleymanova
  194. Rustam Asadli
  195. Rustam Jabbarov
  196. Sabina Ibrahimova
  197. Sabina Kazimova
  198. Sabina Mammadova
  199. Sabuhi Mursalli
  200. Sabuhi Osmanov
  201. Sadig Eyvazov
  202. Sakina Asadova
  203. Sakina Khanim
  204. Sakina Mammadli
  205. Sakina Mustafayeva
  206. Sama Khalilova
  207. Samir Azizov
  208. Samir Sharifli
  209. Samira Nazarli
  210. Sanam Amirli
  211. Sanan Abdullayev
  212. Sanan Salimov
  213. Sanan Suleymanli
  214. Sara Mehdiyeva
  215. Sattar Mammadov
  216. Sevda Mirzayeva
  217. Sevda Seferova
  218. Sevinj Aghayeva
  219. Sevinj Aghayeva
  220. Sevinj Jafarli
  221. Sevinj Mammadova
  222. Sevinj Mastiyeva
  223. Şəbnəm Mehralıyeva
  224. Shabnam Mehraliyeva
  225. Shahana Huseynzade
  226. Shahin Mammadli
  227. Shahsenem Rasulova
  228. Shamil Farzaliyev
  229. Shamil Mustafayev
  230. Shamistan Ahmadov
  231. Sumaya Quliyeva
  232. Suru Hajiyeva
  233. Tahir Valiyev
  234. Tahmasib İmamaliyev
  235. Tamara Aslanova
  236. Tamara Danilyuk
  237. Tamara Makinskaya
  238. Tamkin Aslanli
  239. Tarlan Ahmadov
  240. Toghrul Aghakishiyev
  241. Togrul Kalbaliyev
  242. Tokay Ahmadov
  243. Tukaz Ahmadova
  244. Tural Ismayilov
  245. Turan Karim
  246. Turana Pashayeva
  247. Turgut Taghizade
  248. Turkan Qurbanzada
  249. Tutukhanim Balayeva
  250. Ulkar Aligulova
  251. Ulkər Sharifli
  252. Ulvi Mustafayev
  253. Vafa Garayeva
  254. Valik Mancharov
  255. Vugar Aliyev
  256. Vugar Mammadov
  257. Vusal Asgarov
  258. Yashar Baxshiyev
  259. Yasin Guliyev
  260. Yusif Israfilbayov
  261. Zahra Iskandarli
  262. Zeynab Abdullayeva
  263. Zeynab Mammadova

Annex: Pictures from Kalbajar, Fuzuli and Aghdam cities.