Armenia to apply to ECHR over deceased Azeri-captured villager

Armenia to apply to ECHR over deceased Azeri-captured villager

PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenia plans to apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over a 77-year-old Armenian citizen Mamikon Khojoyan who died after release from Azeri captivity, Panorama.am reported.

First Ombudsperson of Armenia, chairwoman of Against Legal Arbitrariness NGO Larisa Alaverdyan told reporters Friday, June 27 that the organization is waiting for the official results of the forensic medical examination.

Khojoyan’s blood and urine tests showed that he was injected with psychotropic drugs and substances containing oil products dangerous to human health.

Khojoyan died on May 20 more than two months after returning home from captivity in Azerbaijan with what appeared to be serious injuries.

Khojoyan, crossed into Azerbaijan from his Verin Karmiraghbyur village in Armenia’s northern Tavush region in unclear circumstances on January 28. He was detained by Azerbaijani villagers and handed over to military authorities.

The authorities in Baku claimed afterwards that Khojoyan was part of an Armenian commando squad that attempted to carry out a cross-border incursion. The Armenian military and Verin Karmiraghbyur residents dismissed these claims, saying that he suffered from mental disorders and strayed into Azerbaijani territory by accident.

The elderly man was set free and repatriated to Armenia with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross on March 4. He was immediately hospitalized. An RFE/RL correspondent who was allowed to visit Khojoyan at a Tavush hospital saw wounds all over his body. Doctors there suggested that he was injured in Azerbaijani custody. Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry denied that he was tortured.

Khojoyan underwent further treatment in Yerevan before returning to Verin Karmiraghbyur last month. According to Kamo Chobanian, the village mayor, his health condition sharply deteriorated a week ago. “The torture suffered in captivity has had its effects,” he said of the villager’s death.

Khojoyan’s health condition was deteriorating in May. He could not walk, while his arm, which was operated on in March, was swollen, Khojoyan’s daughter said.

Khojoyan’s daughter suspected that he was injected with solar oil while in captivity in Azerbaijan. “The hospital declined to show us the results of the medical tests. I think he was injected with solar oil as he is changing before our eyes,” she noted.

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