YEREVAN (Armenpress) – According to information gathered from recently released Armenian prisoners–the National Security Minister of Azerbaijan–Namik Abasov–has announced that Armenia’s continue to imprison 800 Azeri war captives. Furthermore–according to a report published in Turkish Times– Abasov has also characterized Armenian captives as spies and recruiting agents for the Armenian Secret Service. On several occasions–Abasov has called prisoners terrorists on mission in Azerbaijan.
Azeri officials–while referring to POW’s in Armenia as hostages–have long ignored international standards of the process. According to reports–Nagorno-Karabakh has provided Azeri POW’s with internationally accepted care by allowing numerous visits by the Red Cross International Committee representatives. To date–that has not occurred with Armenian prisoners in Azerbaijan.
As exchange of prisoners are concerned–in 1996 Armenia carried out provisions set forth by the Red Cross International Committee initiative–which was signed by the presidents of both countries in Luxembourg. The agreement called for an "all for all" principle–and while Armenia released 67 prisoner to the care of Russian Federation Foreign Minister–Yevgeni Primakov–Baku freed only 35 Armenian prisoners.
According to Armenpress–the Azeris have not only taken hostages–but they hold captive non military individuals–both Armenian and non-Armenian.