Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   20 October

Armenia opposes "humanitarian actions" that lead to impunity of grave crimes

Armenia opposes "humanitarian actions" that lead to impunity of grave crimes

YEREVAN, MAY 21, ARMENPRESS. The Republic of Armenia is always committed to true humanitarian actions, however these humanitarian actions shouldn’t lead to impunity of grave crimes, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan said at a news briefing on May 21, addressing the Azerbaijani principle of “all for all” regarding exchange of captives.

“And especially in those cases when we are witnessing violations of international humanitarian law in human rights. The murder of a minor is a grave crime in any society, therefore the “all for all” principle shouldn’t be the way out which justifies the impunity and violations of humanitarian law in human rights,” she said.

The foreign ministry spokesperson also condemned the “glorification” of people who committed such grave crimes.

“Impunity of hate crimes itself leads to new crimes and violations of international laws. The glorification of those who committed these crimes is a serious occurrence in itself, and we have witnessed how a convicted murderer has been glorified after being extradited only for having murdered an Armenian,” she said, referring to the horror murder of an Armenian soldier during a 2014 NATO training program in Hungary. The perpetrator, Azerbaijani soldier Ramil Safarov, who was also attending the program, breached into Armenian Gurgen Margaryan’s room at night and axed him to death while the latter was asleep.

“Our goal is to prevent such developments in the region,” Naghdalyan added.

In November of 2018, Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan responded to Azerbaijan’s proposal on exchange of captives, noting that the Azerbaijani prisoners in Armenia aren’t ordinary citizens, they are convicted murderers who have killed peaceful civilians.

Two Azerbaijanis were arrested in 2014 in the territory of Artsakh. The two, Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilham Askerov, kidnapped and murdered an underage boy in Artsakh on July 4. Few days later they killed a middle aged Yerevan man and wounded a woman in what authorities said was a hate crime. Both are imprisoned in Artsakh.

Another Azerbaijani, Elnur Huseynzade, is also serving a prison term in Artsakh. Huseynzade, a soldier of the Azerbaijani military, was arrested in 2017 near the village of Talish in what authorities said was a sabotage attempt.

Three Armenian nationals are currently imprisoned in Azerbaijan, and all three are civilians who due to unknown circumstances crossed the border and were captured and treated as military saboteurs. One of them, Karen Ghazaryan, is a mentally ill villager who crossed the border accidentally. However, Azerbaijan organized a show trial and sentenced the three to many years behind bars.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

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