March 13, 2014 - 14:25 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Representatives of the Baku Office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) met with seven Armenian citizens held captive in Azerbaijan –Verin Karmiragbyur border village resident Arsen Khojoyan, serviceman Hakob Injigulyan, and a family of 5.
An exchange of letters took place during the meeting, with talks for more frequent meetings with the captives under way, ICRC Yerevan office representative Zara Amatuni told PanARMENIAN.Net
Khojoyan crossed the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on March 7. According to preliminary information, he lost his way in a thick fog. The 23-year old is a relative of Mamikon Khojoyan, 77 who was recently released from Azeri captivity.
The 77-year-old man was tortured during his more than month-long captivity and needs to remain in hospital for the time being, doctors and his relatives said.
Baku has claimed all along that the elderly resident of Verin Karmiraghbyur, an Armenian village close to the Azerbaijani border, was armed and acted as a guide for an Armenian “sabotage squad” that tried to carry out a cross-border incursion.
The Armenian military and the village administration have laughed off these claims, saying that Khojoyan suffers mental disorders and strayed into Azerbaijani territory by accident. Some Azerbaijani analysts have also brushed aside the official Azerbaijani version of his detention.
On the night of Aug 8, Injighulyan, born in 1991, failed to find his bearings on the ground and crossed into the Azeri-controlled territory.
Azeri media outlets have since been spreading information suggesting the captive is unwilling to return to Armenia.
However, Injighulyan never mentioned his unwillingness to return to Armenia in a meeting with ICRC representatives, with Azerbaijani Prisoners of War Commission Secretary noting he sees no problem with the captive's return.
Armenia has repeatedly slammed the “interviews” with Injighulyan as forced by Baku and urged the ICRC to take every effort to help the captive’s return, with no persecution to be initiated against him in the absence of crime in the act.