The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) successfully evacuated 11 critically ill patients from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia on Tuesday (8 August), de facto authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh have announced.
Nine of the patients required life-saving hemodialysis while two others were seriously-ill cancer patients. Meanwhile, other patients who had received treatment in Armenia, were expected to return to Nagorno-Karabakh under ICRC mediation later on Tuesday.
It is the first successful medical evacuation from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia since Azerbaijani border guards arrested the Nagorno-Karabakh resident Vagif Khachatryan on 29 July, and who now faces charges of "genocide" and "deportation or forced movement of the population" under Azerbaijan's Criminal Code. Azerbaijan's prosecution body said an international search warrant was issued against him in 2013.
In a statement responding to the arrest on 29 July, Armenia's Foreign Ministry said that it was a "flagrant violation of international humanitarian law", and accused Azerbaijan of "completely blocking the ICRC activities in Nagorno-Karabakh".
ICRC humanitarian aid convoys to Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia have also been blocked since 26 July, when an Armenian convoy was prevented from passing Azerbaijan's checkpoint at the entrance to the Lachin Corridor. You can read about this event here.