Azerbaijan "using Armenian captives as tools to pursue other goals"

Azerbaijan

PanARMENIAN.Net - Azerbaijan is using Armenian captives as political hostages and tools to pursue other goals, Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday, June 4.

On May 25, the Foreign Ministry strongly condemned Baku's criminal prosecution against Lyudvik Mkrtchyan and Alyosha Khosrovyan, captured during the recent aggression of Azerbaijan against Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).

"Continuing to violate the norms of humanitarian law, particularly the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War, which explicitly states that prisoners of war are released and repatriated immediately after the cessation of hostilities, Azerbaijan has brought a trumped-up criminal charges against 14 captured Armenian servicemen, which also violates the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020m," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"The criminal cases against 16 Armenian servicemen, as well as the torture and psychological pressure of other Armenian prisoners of war and captured civilians set a precedent for a malicious violation of international law. It is clear that Azerbaijan instrumentalizes the captured people as political hostages and tools to pursue other goals."

According to the statement, Baku also blatantly defies the relevant decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on providing information on Armenian servicemen and civilians held in Azerbaijani captivity.

"Despite numerous calls from the international community, Azerbaijan continues to conceal the true number of the prisoners, denying the captivity of dozens of Armenian servicemen and civilians. Moreover, Azerbaijan denies the detention of those whose captivity in Azerbaijan has been documented both through video coverage and testimonies of repatriated prisoners, which raises suspicions of a number of serious crimes," the statement reads.

"All Armenian prisoners of war and civilian captives held in Azerbaijan must be immediately released and repatriated without any preconditions."

Earlier, the Human Rights Defender said that any kind of prosecution or trial of prisoners of war is a gross violation of international law.

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