US Calls on Baku to Investigate Captive Armenian Villager’s Death

Azerbaijani soldiers escort Karen Petrosyan, an Armenian villager who wandered into Azerbaijan

ANCA welcomes call for “full and transparent” investigation of incident

WASHINGTON—A State Department spokesperson, in response to an August 15th media inquiry about the violent abuse and subsequent death of an Armenian civilian while in Azerbaijani custody, has issued the following statement:

“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 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. We remind the governments of Azerbaijan and Armenia of their obligations under international humanitarian law, especially their obligation to treat humanely all those taken into custody. We call on both Armenia and Azerbaijan to grant the International Committee of the Red Cross access to all detainees and internees held for conflict-related reasons.”

“The ANCA welcomes the State Department’s expression of concern regarding Azerbaijan’s actions, joins with all Americans in extending our condolences to the Petrosyan family, and supports our government’s call upon Azerbaijan to conduct a full and transparent investigation into this incident and to make its findings public,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

On Thursday, Aug. 7, Armenian border villager Karen Petrosyan wandered into Azerbaijan for unknown reasons and was arrested by military authorities. 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.”

The Armenian government and military have challenged the official cause of the villager’s death, suggesting that he was murdered or beaten to death. They also shrugged off Baku’s claims that he was part of an Armenian commando squad that attempted to carry out sabotage attacks in Azerbaijan.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is trying to arrange the repatriation of Petrosian’s body to Armenia.


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  1. Mabuballah said:

    Where was this nameless, faceless “State Department spokesPERSON” on the axe murder and that murderer’s (one Ramil safarov) repatriation to become a national hero to Azerbaijan? Let’s hear it for NATO’s peace training.

  2. Massis said:

    Every time that Azerbaijan breaks the cease fire and commits criminal acts by shooting and killing innocent soldiers and villagers and this happens quite often the State Department and the EU Countries call on both Armenia and Azerbaijan to sustain themselves from violent acts, it is amazing that they mention Armenia’s name first knowing that Armenia was not the aggressor, you never hear them condemning Azerbaijan directly and unequivocally for its criminal behavior, it looks that they are worried that their oil supply would be cut-off!
    In the battle between conscious and greed in the so called “civilized World” the latter is always the winner.