Sydney Armenians Protest Azerbaijani Aggression and Threats at Canberra Embassy [VIDEOS]

By ANC-AU | Saturday, 25 July 2020

CANBERRA: On Friday 24th July 2020, around 100 Armenian-Australians (in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions) travelled from Sydney to participate in a protest at the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Canberra, condemning Baku’s provocative attacks on the North-Eastern border of Armenia, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).

The protest, organised and led by the Armenian Youth Federation of Australia (AYF-AU), expressed the Armenian-Australian community’s outrage and condemnation of Azerbaijani dictator, President Ilham Aliyev’s aggressive military actions and war-mongering rhetoric, which culminated in a chilling threat to commit Chernobyl-style nuclear terrorism against Armenia.

Ignoring their internationally mandated ceasefire obligations, and the more recent calls from the United Nations for global ceasefire during the COVID-19 pandemic, the past ten days have witnessed Azerbaijan continuing their aggressive ‘attack, blame, repeat’ modus operandi, using drones, tanks and artillery to target and fire upon civilian targets, endangering Armenian men, women and children in the process of striking a PPE manufacturing factory and kindergarten.

The protesters demanded the international community's condemnation of what is clear provocation and threats from the dictatorship of Azerbaijan.

"Baku is yet to receive any form of reprimand or condemnation by the international community for their war-mongering actions," said AYF-AU Chairperson Aram Tufenkjian in his address.

"We are here to say: No more!!"

"When Azerbaijan attacks the innocent indigenous Armenians of the internationally unrecognised Republic of Artsakh, we have sadly become accustomed to global calls for 'restraint from both sides', without calling out and holding accountable the transgressing party," Tufenkjian explained.

"But we all know there is only one aggressor. There is only ONE party to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict that does not accept the placement of gunfire locator systems on the border. Is it Armenia? No! Is it Artsakh? No! Because these peace loving nations of indigenous inhabitants have no interest in war. Peace is what they seek. Peace is what we seek."

"But Azerbaijan? Well they do not accept technology that will determine the culprit of ceasefire breaches, because then, even their oil-billions will not be able to silence the truth: That Baku is guilty!"

The threat from Aliyev’s Defence Ministry spokesperson to commit nuclear holocaust has attracted the attention of several prominent news outlets, including Forbes and The Washington Post, who have also noticed the oil-rich dictator’s branding of the peacekeeping OSCE Minsk Group as “meaningless” just days before this latest attack, while his violent rhetoric manifested itself on the streets of Baku during the past week when tens of thousands of protestors chanted “Death of Armenia” and “End the Quarantine - Start the War”.

The Canberra protest reserved special attention of the inflaming of war rhetoric by the revisionist government of Turkey, who continues to deny the Armenian Genocide of 105 years ago.

"Adding fuel to Azerbaijan’s fire is their big brother, the Republic of Turkey, whose Ministry of Foreign Affairs publicly expressed unconditional support for the attack of the Azerbaijani army against the Republic of Armenia while manipulating facts," Tufenkjian revealed.

"This continues the years-long collaboration between the twin Turkish and Azerbaijani dictatorships to impose geopolitical and economic isolation on Armenia, and block the human and democratic rights to self-determination of the Armenian Republic of Artsakh."

Protestors chanted and held up slogans including "Stop Aliyev", "Artsakh is Armenian", "Shame on Baku", "You Say War, We Say Peace", "You Sell Oil, We Sell Truth", "With Our Soldiers", "Tavush Strong", among many others.

The Azerbaijani Embassy's Chargé d'Affaires, Eljan Habibzade, who was watching proceedings from his mirror-reflective windows, refused to accept a letter from the Armenian Youth Federation of Australia in person – it was instead read to protestors and handed to the Australian Federal Police for delivery to Baku's representative in Australia.

The protest featured a stirring speech in Armenian from AYF-AU member Hrant Boujikian.

Fellow AYF-AU members Anna Berberian and Sarin Zaitounian also addressed the gathered, as did Vache Kahramanian of ANC-AU.

Several radio stations covered the protest, while SBS television news was also present with cameras.

The ANC-AU, which is the Armenian-Australian community’s peak public affairs body, has written to the Australian Government requesting their outright condemnation of Azerbaijan’s threat against Armenia’s nuclear power plant and their provocative military attacks under the cover of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Armenian-Australian community requests that the Australian Government unequivocally condemns Azerbaijan’s flagrant attempts to violate the territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia and inexcusable threats to launch missile attacks against Armenia’s nuclear power plant," said ANC-AU Executive Director, Haig Kayserian.

"Such a brazen threat of Nuclear Holocaust to an entire country, and its potential impact on the entire region and beyond, cannot be left unanswered by the international community.  We strongly urge that Australia adds its respected voice of protest and condemnation at appropriate international fora and channels."

Watch the full protest by clicking here.