Time in Yerevan: 11:07,   1 March 2024

According to the international law, Azerbaijan must release all hostages – report

According to the international law, Azerbaijan must release all hostages – report

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 23, ARMENPRESS. All Armenian political prisoners, POWs and hostages illegally held in Azerbaijan must be released immediately in accordance with the international law.

This is noted in the report of the Center for Truth and Justice entitled “Azerbaijan Must Release All Armenian Political Prisoners, POWs and Hostages.”

The report indicates that on Sept. 19, 2023, an Azerbaijani offensive, the second in three years, set the stage for the ethnic cleansing of Armenians from their ancestral land of Nagorno-Karabakh. Within 10 days, over 100,000 Armenians fled Nagorno-Karabakh and found refuge in neighboring Armenia.

During the Sep-Nov 2020 and Sep 2023 wars against Nagorno-Karabakh, the Azerbaijani authorities detained some 200 Armenian civilians and military personnel.

“Dozens remain in Azerbaijani jails illegally, some awaiting trials and others illegally convicted to lengthy jail terms,’’ reads the report.

It is noted that according to Azerbaijan’s prosecutor general, 300 former leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh are wanted  for alleged war crimes committed during the wars. Eight of these leaders were detained, humiliated in front of cameras, and transferred to prisons in Baku.

Referring to the hostages, the authors of the report noted that an unknown number of Armenian civilians were taken prisoner since 2020 by Azerbaijani security personnel in and around Nagorno-Karabakh and within the borders of Armenia.

As for POWs, according to the report, 36 Armenian prisoners of war (POWs) remain in Azerbaijani prisons.

“The 2020 war POWs should have been released in accordance with the 10 November 2020 ceasefire agreement. Now that both wars are over, all POWs from must be freed immediately in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. The majority of prisoners of war were taken a month after the official ceasefire in 2020, and in the area of Khtsaberd.

These political prisoners, POWs and hostages, some of whom have been convicted illegally to lengthy jail terms in Azerbaijan, must be freed immediately in accordance with international law, and at the very least as a confidence-building measure so that the ongoing negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan can produce results. The international community, in particular the U.S., Russia and EU mediators, as well as others, have an obligation to persuade Azerbaijan to free them unconditionally and immediately,’’ reads the report.

All the hostages are represented by name in the report, including the persons who held leadership positions in Nagorno-Karabakh: Arayik Harutyunyan, Bako Sahakyan, Davit Babayan, Arkadi Ghukasyan, Ruben Vardanyan, Davit Ishkhanyan, Davit Manukyan, Levon Mnatsakanyan, as well as captured civilians and military personnel.


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