Azerbaijan Delays POW Release, Says Armenia’s Human Rights Defender

Armenia's Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan

Armenia's Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan

Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan

Azerbaijan is artificially delaying the process of exchange of prisoners of war and bodies and continues their cruel treatment, declared Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan who issued an appeal to the international community late last week.

The Human Rights Defender of Armenia called upon the international community, and in particular the international organizations on human rights to focus on the issue of Azerbaijani authorities artificially protracting the process of exchange of bodies and captives, which has been the case during the military activities, and continues now after the completion of military actions.

With the objective of delaying the aforementioned process, the Azerbaijani authorities state that the exchange of the captives will take place after completing the process of exchange of bodies. That process, as well, is being protracted by official Baku. With all these delays, Tatoyan said, Azerbaijan is grossly violating the fundamental requirements guaranteed by the Geneva Conventions.

“It is obvious, that Azerbaijan aims to create an atmosphere of uncertainty and tension in Armenia, cause psychological distress to the family members of the deceased soldiers and prisoners of war,” Tatoyan said in his appeal.

“Investigation by the Human Rights Defender of Armenia proves that such treatment is a result of organized and disseminated hatred, as an inseparable systematically applied policy of torture and inhuman treatment,” explained Tatoyan.

In particular, the Human Rights Defender has repeatedly stated that starting from September 27, the military attacks by the Azerbaijani military forces against Armenia and Artsakh have been accompanied by torture and inhumane treatment, massive destruction of civilian settlements, and other gross violations of human rights, which took place also with the help of the jihadist mercenaries and terrorists along with the dissemination of hatred.

During the entire duration of the military activities, as well as after the completion of those activities, the mass media, particularly the Azerbaijani social media sources incessantly published videos and photos, which depicted the degrading treatment by Azeri military forces of the Armenian soldiers’ bodies, torture and similar treatment of the captives, both civilians and military.

Azerbaijanis are also glorying those who are seen in these videos disparaging Armenians. This has been part and parcel of of the methods applied by Azerbaijan during September-November 2020 war.

“During the duration of the war it has been obvious that the Azeri authorities endorse/promote these cruelties and degrading treatment, having an objective of instigating hatred and hostility in Azerbaijan against ethnic Armenians, glorifying those who commit these atrocities,” added Tatoyan.

The results of the investigations of the Human Rights Defender affirm that these vicious events, which are beyond any human imagination and against all international norms, are systematic and wide-spread, starting from Azerbaijani the political authorities and ending with cultural and sport figures. The Human Rights Defender possesses all necessary evidence, which attest to these facts.

“After the end of military operations, torture and inhumane treatment of the Armenian prisoners of war/captives by Azeri military forces has taken a new spin: the number and volume, as well as the level of cruelty has significantly increased,” explained Tatoyan. “It is obvious that those who commit torture and such cruelties, as well as those who take videos are the representatives of the Azerbaijani military forces, whose activities are endorsed by their leadership.”

“In current circumstances the liberation/release of the captives, their safe return, the exchange of bodies have become an urgent matter, requiring immediate resolution,” said Tatoryan who called on the international community, in particular the organizations, which have a mandate to advance human rights to intervene and ensure the safe return of POWs and the humane treatment of killed soldiers.

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