Baku Slams US, France over Condemnation of Villager’s Death

A screenshot of an amateur video of Armenian citizen Karen Petrosian talking to residents of Aqbulaq village (Photo: RFE/RL)


BAKU—The Azerbaijani government in a statement on Friday criticized Washington and Paris for their condemnation of the Azerbaijani authorities’ killing of Karen Petrosian, an Armenian border villager who had wandered into Azerbaijan.

Baku’s authorities maintained that the man, killed in captivity on Aug. 8, was an “Armenian saboteur” insisting that he had crossed the border as part of a “commando group.” Eye witness testimonies from Azeri villagers who found Petrosian first, however, contradicted Baku’s assertions. Video footage shot by the residents of Azerbaijan’s Agbulaq village showed Petrosian unarmed and talking with the villagers.

On Aug. 18, the U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning the death of Petrosian in captivity and calling on Baku to conduct a full investigation.

“The United States is deeply concerned by reports on the death of Karen Petrosyan while in Azerbaijan’s custody and by allegations that his death was not due to natural causes,” the statement read. “The United States offers its sincere condolences to Mr. Petrosyan’s family. We call on the Government of Azerbaijan to conduct a full and transparent investigation into this incident and to make its findings public.”

News reports showed Azerbaijani defense ministry officials dragging, questioning and publicly humiliating Petrosyan on national television. On Friday, Aug. 8, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced that Petrosian had died of “acute heart failure.”

Armenian authorities insist that the 31-year-old Petrosian did not die from natural causes, but was tortured or beaten to death.

Petrosian’s death rekindled memories of Manvel Saribekian, a 20-year-old resident of another Armenian border village who was captured by Azerbaijani soldiers in September 2010. A visibly injured Saribekian was paraded on Azerbaijani television, saying that he is a member of an Armenian commando squad that planned to carry out terrorist attacks in Azerbaijan.

Saribekian was found hanged in an Azerbaijani detention center shortly afterwards. The Azerbaijani authorities claimed that he committed suicide. The Armenian government said, however, that Saribekian was tortured to death or driven to suicide. Both the government and Saribekian’s family insisted that the young man was a civilian who accidentally crossed the Armenian-Azerbaijani border while grazing cattle.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, in its statement on Friday, urged the U.S. and France to a “principled stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement, and to be unbiased in expressing condolences and concerns.”

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8 Comments

  1. krikor said:

    The Armenian government must drive the following point home as strongly as possible: The murder of Karen Petrosian is a premeditated act that was authorized by the government of Azerbaijan. It was not a personal act but, an act that was blessed and is defended by the government of Azerbaijan. This shows how Armenians are discriminated against and how the Azerbaijan cannot be trusted with the life of a single Armenian. This senseless killing serves no purpose and interest of Azerbaijan. It only show how they blindly hate Armenians

  2. GB said:

    I wonder how a 31 years old healthy man will die of “acute heart failure” within two days after his captivity! These Axeri Turkic herds have same mentality of ISIL terrorists! Most likely they will keep his dead body for a long time, in order to stop any detection by Armenian Forensic Investigators!

  3. PAUL BARDIZBANIAN said:

    IF AN AZERI CAN KILL AN ARMENIAN SOLDIER ON A NATO POST-CAN YOU NOT EXPECT ANYTHING LESS IN AZERI DETENTION? THEY HAVE A MURDERERS MENTALITY AND IT IS PART OF THEIR CULTURE. KNOW YOUR ENEMY CUZ THEY ARE NOT GOING AWAY OR CHANGING THEIR DNA. ARMENIANS NEED TO PREPARE FOR WAR AND EDUCATE THE LOCALS AND DIASPORA FOR THE EVENTUALITY. KOOL AID AND POLITICS DON’T WIN—KRIMIAN–SOMETHING LIKE THAT!

  4. hidi said:

    **** The Azeri Rats..!!! they are savage barbarians., not even sub-human species..!!!

  5. John Markarian said:

    The NKR and Armenia need to put up border fences to prevent such incidences from happening.That project ccould get alot of people employed who need jobs . Armenia and the NKR need better anti-tank defenses such as the Chinese HJ-10 missles and HJ-12 both of which are fire and forget antitank missles meaning that they will find the target without further assistance from the person launching the missles. The older missles need the operator to keep the tank in it’s sight until the missle hits the tank. The US Javelin and the Israeli spike missles are also similar. The Azeris already possess the Spike missle.

  6. GeorgeMardig said:

    It is useless to talk to people with NO common sense or they have collective psychic problem

  7. eastofwest said:

    Savages, that’s what they are. There’s no other word to describe the “Azeris”.

  8. Vagharshak Sevulyan said:

    Hello,
    azeris always harm Armenians in return we are very passive we be aggresive and we should send these savage and murderous government a strong message , should be eye to eye situation.
    Sincerely Yours,
    Have a wonderful day.

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