Azerbaijan Citizens Make Personal Pleas for EU Action on the Sarsang Reservoir

Jun 27, 2013, 03:00 ET from Azerbaijan Monitor

BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Azerbaijan's call for the European Parliament to demand Armenia carry out essential maintenance on a dilapidated dam in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh has won support from residents living in its shadow.

They have submitted personal accounts detailing their fears in the hope that European intervention can force Armenia to open up the 125 metre high dam to a detailed technical inspection to determine the danger it poses. A study by engineers based on remotely obtained data this year confirmed the dam to be dangerous due to a lack of maintenance.

The letters have been penned by those living in the regions that risk being flooded in the event of the dam's failure. As resident Vidadi Yusifov from Goranboy put it, "We fear that they will destroy us all with a tsunami."

The frustration of the residents who have been moved to write to the EU is compounded by the fact that Armenia has for two decades denied them the irrigation water the dam was built to provide.

"First they do not give any water and then they will let it flow all at once!! They will let Sarsang dam break and we cannot go there to fix it because they will shoot us!!" one letter writer submitted.

Another, Vagif Rafig Aliyev, wrote: "Please help! We are desperate! We want to repair the dam, we can even save money and our government told us that they can finance, but let us, Armenians!"

The residents have also protested about their treatment at the hands of Armenian troops when they tried to protest the dam issue on May 25.

"They beat us when we tried to protest! I was on the river, away from their line of military and they attacked us, they beat us with rifle butts and cigarette burned us, they hit us in the stomach and head," wrote Vidadi Yusifov.

Having collated these accounts, Azerbaijan has also called on the European Parliament to "condemn the arrests and torture perpetrated by the Armenian occupiers against the delegation of Azeri villagers from the Tartar area of Azerbaijan."

The Sarsang dam holds back a 12 kilometre long lake. In the event of failure, hydrologists have determined that up to 30 villages downstream would be inundated.

SOURCE Azerbaijan Monitor