The 18 children who came from Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) to Armenia’s capital Yerevan to attend the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2022 cannot return home.
Aida Gyurjinyan, who is accompanying these children and is the advisor to Artsakh Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, told Armenian News-NEWS.am that on their way back to Artsakh capital Stepanakert on Monday, they learned that the Azerbaijanis had closed the Stepanakert-Goris motorway.
“We stayed in a hotel in Goris [city of Armenia]. [These kids’] parents are constantly in contact, they are worried about their children, but we are here with them. It is true that the children have been cut off from [their] parents, education, the children’s rights were violated. However, the ‘signature’ of Azerbaijan is obvious, they do not even tolerate the attendance of Artsakh children in the international children’s competition. But little Artsakh, in order for the children to live a full life there, had ensured that attendance so that the children of Artsakh could also witness that wonderful event, and it turned out that they closed off the children’s path on the way back,” added Gyurjinyan.
These children who were stranded in Goris are 11 to 17 years old. The aforesaid Artsakh ministry had selected the children who won in various subject Olympiads to attend the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
The parents, sisters, and brother of 11-year-old Yulia had stayed in Stepanakert. Thirteen-year-old Ani’s family is also in Artsakh.
“Terrorist Azerbaijanis did not let our joy last until the end. They disrupted as always, and now they are keeping us here in good conditions. But all that has no meaning when your homeland is in danger. Our relatives are in Artsakh, whereas we are here.”
A group of Azerbaijanis in civilian clothes have blocked the Stepanakert-Goris motorway since 10:30am Monday—and again for “environmental” reasons. And the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Artsakh had reported that 100 people were left stranded on the Lisagor-Shushi and Stepanakert-Shushi sections of the aforementioned motorway.