Armenia’s Ombudsman Appeals to UN over Captive Villager’s Death

Armenia's human rights ombudsman Karen Andreasian


YEREVAN (Armenpress)—Armenia’s Human Rights Ombudsman Karen Andreasian says he has appealed to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay over the case of Armenian citizen Karen Petrosyan, a border villager who was taken captive by Azeri authorities and killed within one day after accidentally wandering over the border into Azerbaijan from his village of Chinari.

In his correspondence, Andreasian told the UN High Commissioner about the Azeri side’s transgressions including public humiliation and probable torture of Petrosyan. He also noted that Petrosyan had mental and substance abuse problems and that he was said by Azerbaijani witnesses to be unarmed and not ill-intentioned.

Andreasian also told Navi Pillay that 17 days have passed since Petrosyan was killed and the refusal by Baku to return his body suggests that there are signs of torture that Azeri authorities would like to hide.

Andreasian reminded Pillay of a tragic precedent – the death of shepherd Manvel Saribekyan in Azerbaijan in 2010, as well as the case of Mamikon Khojoyan who died soon after being released from captivity.

The letter says Azerbaijan’s Ombudswoman Elmira Suleymanova has not taken any position in regards to the murder of Karen Petrosyan so far. Such behavior was expected, Andreasian says, as the official has previously welcomed the actions of ax-murderer Ramil Safarov.

“Torture against a captive is contrary to the norms of international humanitarian law and the provisions of the Geneva Convention. I am urging not to remain indifferent and to condemn the illegal actions of Azerbaijan, to facilitate the handover of Karen Petrosyan’s body, as well as to assist in a thorough, unbiased investigation into the murder,” the ombudsman said in his correspondence.

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