Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   15 December

Armenia drops criminal case against Turkish minor trespasser on humanitarian grounds

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 25, ARMENPRESS. The Armenian law enforcement bodies have dropped the criminal case initiated against a Turkish citizen for illegally crossing the Armenian-Turkish border on humanitarian grounds, the press service of MFA Armenia informed, responding to the inquiry of ARMENPRESS if there is any information over Umut Ali Özmen, a 16-year old Turkish trespasser. The boy’s father, Mustafa Özmen, is in Armenia and told a news outlet that his son has been released.

“We have informed the Turkish side about the above-mentioned through diplomatic channels. Immediately after receiving relevant response Umut Ali Özmen’s return to Turkey will be organized”, the MFA said.

The father of 16-year-old Umut Ali Ozmen, the Turkish boy who had crossed the Armenian-Turkish border on July 24, appealed to the Government of Armenia and the Prime Minister with a request to return his son on September 20.

In an interview to Armenia’s Public TV, the boy’s father Mustafa said that his son had crossed the border accidentally.

“My son had no intention to cross the border. He has no friends here, since we are in a field, in a village, he was feeding the livestock with his mother, and there is no border demarcation line in that area. And he didn’t understand that he had crossed the Armenian border. He was just curious on what is there across, and he walked up the hill to look from above,” Mustafa said.

Russian border guards had arrested the 16 year old shepherd on July 24. The boy is still in Armenia.

The Turkish villager is appealing to the Government of Armenia with a request to return his son.

“I am begging the government of Armenia and the country’s leader to release my child as soon as possible, to return him to his family in Turkey, so he returns to his usual life as soon as possible: school, college. His mother is begging to help return our boy. She is in a very bad health condition from this anxious state,” Mustafa said. He said that it is their dream to return the boy home.

Edited and translated by Tigran Sirekanyan

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