Politics 16:50 21/09/2019 NKR

Davit Babayan: Azerbaijani saboteurs’ return to Baku may have serious consequences

Author Lala Ter-Ghazaryan

On July 17, 2014, 17-year-old Smbat Tsakalyan was buried in a cemetery at one of Karvachar villages next to his grandfather. Tsakalyan had been killed by members of Azerbaijani subversive group in a farm. The young man was one of the six children of the family. He was about to study at a military academy. The future military was killed on his home soil by an Azerbaijani saboteur.  

“I call on the leadership and reporter to never allow the return of those murderers to Baku. If this happens through the Committee of the Red Cross, they would be named heroes in Azerbaijan,” the father of the killed man had stated after the funerals.

Days ago, official Baku came up with a proposal to exchange the jailed saboteurs Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev with two Armenian captives held in Azerbaijan. Armenian Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan didn’t rule out the swap deal, adding the matter remained upon the sovereign decision of Nagorno Karabakh.

Panorama.am turned to the spokesperson of Artsakh Republic President Davit Babayan to comment on the possible deal and the position of official Stepanakert. Babayan stressed the proposed deal is unacceptable for Artsakh, and they are determined to prevent Azerbaijan’s dirty plan. 

“The letter [about the proposed deal] was addressed to Armenia. Yerevan is expected to send a response at the same time, indicating to the right of Artsakh as an independent and sovereign party,” Babayan said, pointing to what he said grave consequences if the criminals are handed to Baku.

“Let us assume they are freed and back to Azerbaijan. The consequences will be serious. First of all how we can look into the eyes of the Tsakalyan’s family members knowing their children were slaughtered by those saboteurs. How we should look into the eyes of other people, what explanations we should give to them. Furthermore, the handover will be a major blow to our statehood,” Babayan said. The Artsakh official next pointed to the legal aspect of the possible swap deal saying it goes contrary to the court verdict.

“This is a blow to Artsakh and may undermine our statehood. When the saboteurs are back they would probably inspire thousands of murderers and saboteurs as potential perpetrators would know there is impunity for their actions to come and conduct terrorist attacks in Yerevan, Stepanakert and elsewhere,” said Babayan.

As to the Armenian civilians who are kept in Azerbaijan, Babayan said: “It is a pain for us since each of us could be in their place. Azerbaijan should hand them to Armenia. They haven’t committed any crime. The world and human rights organizations keep silence on this. “They  [Azerbaijanis] paid to Hungary to get the convicted killer Ramil Safarov home, and no one recalls the story today. They suggest to release the criminals, no one cares. Letters addressed to international structures on September 11 when the world mourns the September 11 victims  and again no word is uttered on this case. Where are the human rights activists, who voice concerns on other occasions?  Why aren’t they speaking against this? We should protect the dignity of our statehood and respect the spilt blood,” said Babayan, adding in reality there is no difference between Safarov and the saboteurs currently jailed in Shushi.

To remind, Armenian citizen Karen Ghazaryan was detained by Azerbaijani troops in July 2018 and was sentenced to 20 years of prison on charges of attempting to carry out terrorist attacks in Azerbaijan, while Arayik Ghazaryan was detained after ending up in Azerbaijani territory in still unclear circumstances on 12 August 2019.

Azerbaijani citizen Dilgam Asgarov was sentenced to life in prison by an Artsakh court, while Shahbaz Guliyev got 22 years in prison on charges of killing a teenager, illegally crossing the Artsakh border and spying.

Source Panorama.am
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