Law 14:11 20/10/2021 Armenia

Lawyer: Armenian captives must be released immediately without any preconditions

Armenia’s Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) Arman Tatoyan and the representative of Armenian captives at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), lawyer Siranush Sahakyan presented evidence of Azerbaijani violations and crimes during last year’s war in Artsakh and in the post-war period to the rapporteurs of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE), Tatoyan said in a statement on Tuesday.

At the meeting with Head of the Rapporteur Group on Democracy of the CoE Committee of Ministers, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the CoE, Ambassador Mårten Ehnberg and the delegation led by him, the ombudsman presented in detail the war crimes committed by the Azerbaijani armed forces that were accompanied by cruel treatment, torture and beheadings of both Armenian prisoners of war (POWs) and civilian captives.

Tatoyan also presented evidence that the policy of Armenophobia in Azerbaijan is generated by the authorities and encouraged by cultural, sports and other public figures, earning public praise.

Facts of violations of the rights of Armenian border residents by the Azerbaijani troops were presented. The ombudsman noted that as a result of the illegal actions of the Azerbaijani side, people were deprived of their homes, lands and pastures owned by them since the Soviet period.

The human rights defender noted that the illegal presence of the Azerbaijani servicemen on the sovereign territory of Armenia, such as near Black Lake (Sev Lich) in Syunik Province, has caused serious security problems for nearby settlements. Most people have been deprived of their only source of income and livestock breeding. A number of Armenian villages are deprived of water, he added.

Tatoyan underlined that demarcation without the creation of a security zone and withdrawal of Azerbaijani forces from Armenian territory will lead to new violations of people's rights and to a new round of escalation.

Tatoyan and Sahakyan highlighted the urgent need for the release of Armenian prisoners being held in Baku, noting that the efforts to portray them as "terrorists" or "saboteurs" grossly violate international requirements.

The lawyer stated that all Armenian servicemen and civilians being held in Azerbaijan are captives by their status and must be immediately released and repatriated without any political or other preconditions, however Azerbaijan is artificially delaying and politicizing the process to cause suffering to their relatives, as well as to cause tension in the Armenian society.

Arman Tatoyan and Siranush Sahakyan noted that the violations will continue until the Azerbaijani side is held accountable for the war crimes committed.



Source Panorama.am
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