Yerevan Says Azerbaijani Commandos to be Prosecuted as Criminals

Armenia's Ministry of Defense building in Yerevan

YEREVAN, STEPANAKERT–Armenia’s Defense Ministry on Monday said a band of what it called Azerbaijani “saboteurs,” which last week infiltrated the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and were captured in the Kelbajar (Karvachar) district, will be prosecuted as criminals, and not as prisoners of war.

The ministry’s announcement has come after Baku’s insistence that the captured members of the criminal group be given prisoner of war status, despite continued denials from the Azerbaijan’s authorities that the captured men were members of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.

Armenia’s defense ministry explained that provisions of international law do not apply to the captured commandos saying “Article 4 of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War, clearly delineates which persons should be considered prisoners of war.”

The defense ministry added that the investigation has shown that the individuals who were captured in Karvachar were, in fact, members of a criminal group recruited and used by Azerbaijani authorities, adding that the individuals violated international law by attacking civilians.

The defense ministry stressed that the people in question unlawfully infiltrated the border, allegedly attempting murder and were caught attempting to take photographs of protected zones in the area.

“Therefore, the members of the group will be prosecuted under criminal law, in compliance with the international norms of fair trial and human rights protection,” the Ministry said, adding that it was prepared to present the aforementioned evidence to interested international structures.

Stepanakert Reports Complete ‘Neutralization’ of ‘Saboteurs’
The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic on Monday announced that all Azerbaijani “saboteurs” had been either “neutralized” or “destroyed” by special forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Armed Forces.

While no specific information was provided, the Artsakh Defense Ministry last week released photographs of the weapons cache seized from the group, as well as the picture of one of the alleged assailants, 46-year-old Shahbaz Guliyev, who infiltrated the Karabakh border last week.

The Artsakh Defense Ministry also elaborated that the Azerbaijani commandos ambushed a vehicle in Karvachar killing 42-year-old army major Sarkis Abrahamyan and injuring the wife of another military officer, 37-year-old Karine Davtyan. The attackers, according to the Karabakh Defense Ministry, were killed on Friday.

Upon the capture of the group last week, news of the disappearance of a 17-year-old resident of Karvachar was made public, with his parents believing that their son, Smbat Tsakanian, was kidnapped by the band of commandos. Official Stepanekert has not ruled out that possibility.

Soldier Posthumously Awarded
On Monday, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Bako Sahakian posthumously awarded 20-year-old Movses Gasparyan with the “For Service in Battle” medal for bravery in the act of defending the state and the Artsakh border.

A machine gunner in the Artsakh Army, Gasparyan was killed Friday at the Karabakh-Azerbaijan border when Azerbaijani snipers fired at the southwestern positions of the Karabakh border.


Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.


  1. Hratch said:

    Now Mother Russia is really going to get angry. All this goes against their criteria.

    • Gurgen said:

      Your hatred of Russia, your ideological bias and your lack of understanding of history and geopolitical realities cause you to make such childish and irrelevant comments. I would suggest you refrain from commenting from now on so you don’t continue making more of a fool of yourself.

  2. GB said:

    This is an excellent choice, in order to show Axeri dictator, and European Parliament that Artsakh is an independent sovereign State, and there is no way that Artsakh will be part of fake Axerbaijanii dictatorial regime!

  3. hamlet said:

    maybe we should invade baku and finish this once for all we could take it before we can take it now .if they want to play dirty with their little brain if left they have to think twice no wonder why they call turks in iran as donkey that is true

  4. Minas said:

    I would say this group was not going only to commit sabotage acts, but to kidnap Armenian civilians from NKR and handed them to Azerbaijani officials for abusing them as, e,g, “Armenian refuges from NKR seeking asylum in Azerbaijani and so on “” , simply for propaganda purposes…

    Given the fact that a lot of radical Islamists from Azerbaijan and Turkey are fighting in Iraq and Syria , in future officials in Baku will make quite often use from such radicals and terrorists n against NKR and Armenia, when these terrorists return to Azerbaijan, therefore the sooner Armenia and NKR become aware of the new , tricks and dangerous, the better can they protect civilians and borders !!!

    Armenian and NKR need a second security concept to deal with new threats- First they could/should start at schools and border villages to educate people, allow them to inform security forces timely and so on … Not everybody speaking Armenian could be regard as a friend “

  5. john goncuian said:

    Azeri sniper killings ,kidnapping civilians living in villages and using soldiers and criminals to enter into Artshak and terrorize villagers and their families ONLY exposes the faulty logic of an Azeri Military’s desperation. ARMENIA must answer with prosecuting and punishing these criminals. This will show the horrible and stupid neighbor AZERIS that ARMENIA can defend and kick ASS.

  6. dvo said:

    They alreadry killed an officier and a woman civilian these captured spies.

    I heard azeris killed farmer today and kidnaped 17 year old boy from hes house in karvachar you can say the tensions are high and Armenia is showing its teeths at the moment Azeri’s made a imence nummer of losses.

    Those think Armenia is weak is a fool Armenia is way beter capabele of winning this war than azeris. War is not a joke the causulties could be imence this time.

  7. Winny said:

    The NKR authorities can do with the criminals whatever they feel like doing. My only question mark is what does Armenia have to do with it: the Armenian defense ministry should have kept its big mouth shut!

Leave a Reply to john goncuian Cancel reply