Baroness Caroline Cox on Artsakh – ”With courage – and some miracles – the Armenians hung on to their historic land –
Baroness Caroline Cox on Artsakh – ‘With courage – and some miracles – the Armenians hung on to their historic land –
The Times, Jan 25, 2014 –
In the 1990s my passion for freedom led me to try to be a “voice for the voiceless” – for victims of oppression ignored by the big aid agencies and international media, often trapped behind closed borders. Big aid organisations can generally only visit places with the permission of a sovereign government. If a government is victimising a minority and denies access, humanitarian organisations such as the UN cannot reach those victims.
I therefore established a small NGO, Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (Hart), to reach such people with aid and advocacy. One example: a small historically Armenian land, Nagorno-Karabakh, was cut off by Stalin from Armenia and reassigned to Azerbaijan. In the early 1990s Azerbaijan began ethnic cleansing the 150,000 Armenians who lived there, unleashing full-scale war. With courage – and some miracles – the Armenians hung on to their historic land. A ceasefire was signed in 1994. Now, Hart (Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust) supports a path-breaking Rehabilitation Centre there and I have just returned from my 80th visit.