PACE calls on Azerbaijan to release all Armenian POWs

PACE calls on Azerbaijan to release all Armenian POWs

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has called on Azerbaijan to release all Armenian prisoners of war, citing concerns expressed by the European Court of Human Rights with respect to 188 Armenians captured by Baku.

In a statement published on Thursday, April 22, the Committee expressed confidence that the national parliament of both countries can and should play an important role in the urgently needed confidence building measures, the reconciliation process and the resumption of concrete peace negotiations between the parties. It also welcomed the progress made with the implementation of the trilateral statement but expresses its concern about reports that not all persons detained in the context of this conflict have been exchanged. In addition, the Committee said both parties should reinforce their cooperation and communication aimed at demining the concerned areas, with a view to ensuring safety of civilians.

"The Committee reiterates that the clear intention of article 8 of the trilateral statement was the exchange of all detained persons, without distinction as to the status that these people assigned by one of the parties. Underscoring the concerns expressed by the European Court of Human Rights with respect to 188 Armenians allegedly captured by Azerbaijan the Committee calls upon Azerbaijan to ensure that all Armenian detainees are released without delay into the care of the Armenian authorities," the statement said.

"In the views of the Committee, the establishment of an independent international mission responsible for investigating the conflict and allegations of human rights and humanitarian law violations during the recent hostilities is essential to create an environment that is conducive to reconciliation and the establishment of genuine peace. Cultural heritage is important to all parties to the conflict and the urgent establishment of the necessary mechanisms to ensure its protection and renovation is a priority. The Committee has therefore charged its Sub-Committee on Conflicts between Council of Europe Member States to explore more in detail concrete mechanisms for these two issues."

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