YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Six Azeri POW’s–released yesterday in a good will gesture by the Armenian and Karabakh authorities–left for home today. Four of them had been captured in Karabakh and the two in Armenia. The Armenian authorities expect the Azeri authorities to demonstrate a similar good will gesture.
Rufat Ghambarov–Mubarik Aliyev–Nail Rajabov and Dmitriy Kolesov–who is Russian by ethnicity–spoke to reporters before departing. Despite the POW’s bad Russian it became clear that they all were captured during military service. They also said they had been kept in normal conditions during their captivity.
"These are the last POW’s we are giving back to Azerbaijan–there are no more Azeri POW’s in Karabakh," Karen Mirzoyan–the Karabakh representative in Yerevan told reporters at the Zvartnots airport. He said they have information proving that Armenian POW’s are still kept in Azerbaijan.
"We hope that this good will gesture will help to draw the international community’s attention to this issue–to place pressure on Azerbaijan so that it allows international human rights organizations to inspect Azeri camps to identify Armenian POW’s," said Mirzoyan.
He said that data on twelve Armenian POW’s reportedly kept in Azerbaijan had been presented to Azeri authorities and "we expect them to be more active in their search."
The officials in Baku say they have two Armenian POW’s. But some sources say there more than that–as well as about 900 hostages. There are still 4 Azeri POW’s and one civilian kept in Armenia. The Armenian side is willing to give them back.