Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   26 June

Artsakh Ombudsman condemns Azerbaijan's actions aimed at making Arsen Baghdasaryan subject to public curiosity and propaganda tool

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 1, ARMENPRESS. Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Artsakh Artak Beglaryan issued a statement on the violation of the rights of Arsen Baghdasaryan, the civilian of the Republic of Artsakh in Azerbaijan, condemning the recent cases of making him a subject to public curiosity and a propaganda tool, his Office told Armenpress.

In particular, the statement runs as follows:
"On November 26, 2018, the Azerbaijani media disseminated the letter of Arsen Baghdasaryan addressed to acting Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan. Arsen Baghdasaryan is a citizen of the Republic of Artsakh, captured by Azerbaijani armed forces and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for alleged “sabotage”.

According to the media, A. Baghdasaryan turned to N. Pashinyan, saying: "If you really care about your people, please make a joint statement with your opponent from Azerbaijan on the release of the suffering people of both sides." The letter also notes that being in a similar situation, he understands what the Azerbaijanis feel in Armenia and calls for humanity.

Arsen Baghdasaryan's letter was followed by the dissemination of his interview by the Azerbaijani media where he speaks about the same call, as well as using offensive expressions to the population of Artsakh and the Armenian authorities.

It should be noted that the incident is not exclusive, on February 27, 2018, the Azerbaijani news agency Minval.az spread a video in which Arsen Baghdasaryan recited a poem in Azerbaijani and later described his comfortable prison conditions, noting that he was not subjected to any violence.

The policy of focusing public attention on Arsen Baghdasaryan does not comply with international humanitarian law norms. The Geneva Conventions provide for the protection of civilians (Geneva Convention 4, Article 27) and the military servicemen (Geneva Convention 3, Article 13) in the territory of the Party in the armed conflict from public curiosity. In fact, this humanitarian norm is important not only to keep this vulnerable group away from the possible negative attitudes of the public, but also to make it a propaganda tool in the conflict situation.

The Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Artsakh condemns what happened and calls on the international community and human rights organizations to give adequate response, as the rights of Arsen Baghdasaryan, a citizen of the Republic of Artsakh, have been violated periodically and consistently by Azerbaijan.

The Ombudsman also emphasizes that the Republic of Artsakh continues to be consistent in keeping its citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan away from public curiosity, remaining loyal to the principles and norms of international humanitarian law. The Ombudsman periodically pays attention on conditions of the three citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan deprived of their liberty in the Republic of Artsakh and, if necessary, meets with them at the place of detention”.

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